Tuesday 6 December 2016

Grealish's threat to Government is 'too little, too late'

Michael Brennan and Conor Kane

Published 24/09/2010 | 05:00

INDEPENDENT TD Noel Grealish was accused last night of doing "too little, too late" after threatening the stability of the Government for the third time in less than a year.

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The Galway West TD yesterday called for a general election to "let the people decide" -- but has not publicly said whether he will help to do this by voting against the Government when the Dail returns next week.

Fine Gael Galway West TD Padraic McCormack said Mr Grealish was now trying to put some distance between himself and the "toxic Government".

"If he wants a general election, he's welcome to vote against the Government. But I think it's too little, too late," he said.

It is the third time in less than 12 months that Mr Grealish has placed question marks over his support for the coalition Government.

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The former Progressive Democrats TD, who was elected in 2007, withdrew his automatic support for the Government last year and then agreed a personal deal with Taoiseach Brian Cowen in return for his support for the Budget. Last month, he threatened to vote against the Government over cuts in the HSE West budget.

If Mr Grealish withdrew his support, the Government's slim majority of six votes would be cut to just four -- and it faces three by-elections, which could reduce its majority even further.

However, Enterprise Minister Batt O'Keeffe said yesterday the focus was on preparing for the Budget in December.

"So there won't be a focus on by-elections until the new year," Mr O'Keeffe said.

Mr Grealish could not be contacted last night for comment.

Irish Independent

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