Monday 26 June 2017

FG politicians 'should have phones confiscated for today's party meeting' - TD

Josepha Madigan TD Picture: Tom Burke
Josepha Madigan TD Picture: Tom Burke
Fine Gael TD Josepha Madigan. Photo: Tom Burke
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

A Fine Gael TD has called for a “phone free” parliamentary party meeting for tonight’s big announcement by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Dublin Rathdown deputy Josepha Madigan has formally requested that TDs and senators separate themselves from their mobile phones “out of respect” for Mr Kenny.

It’s understood such a request has never been tabled before in Leinster House.

This evening, a spokesman for Fine Gael stressed that the request was made via "text message" and therefore is not a "motion".

Fine Gael TD Josepha Madigan. Photo: Tom Burke
Fine Gael TD Josepha Madigan. Photo: Tom Burke

Mr Kenny is due to announce details of his plan to step aside as party leader. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5.30pm.

But Ms Madigan submitted the request last night, which will be voted upon at the start of the meeting.

It’s unclear whether it will be accepted.

The move is response to a series of leaks from within Fine Gael in recent weeks.

On Sunday, details of an internal ‘What’s App’ conversation made their way into the public domain.

The messages detailed how Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan claimed Health Minister Simon Harris “wants out of health”.

Mr Flanagan has said the remarks were “tongue in cheek” and has apologised to Mr Harris as a result.

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar has since closed down the account.

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