Monday 26 September 2016

Fine Gael TD describes Jobs Minister's 'unpatriotic' comment as 'disgraceful'

Cormac McQuinn, Political Correspondent

Published 12/07/2016 | 14:12

Fergus O'Dowd TD
Fergus O'Dowd TD

A FINE Gael TD has described as “disgraceful” remarks made by a Cabinet minister that those within the party criticising Taoiseach Enda Kenny are "unpatriotic".

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Fergus O’Dowd, who is among TDs that raised the issue of Mr Kenny’s continuing leadership of the party told Independent.ie that he views the comments made by Jobs Minister Mary Mitchel O’Connor as “thoroughly inappropriate”.

“They’re disgraceful really,” he added saying that he is “very much a patriot” and “very much a party person”.

Ms Mitchell O’Connor made the comments in today’s Irish Independent.

She said: “In terms of Brexit, it’s important that Enda Kenny has a really strong hand when he is going to negotiate with EU ministers and also with Theresa May when she becomes UK Prime Minister.

“I think it’s really disingenuous at this point in time to be out there [criticising him]. I think it’s actually unpatriotic.”

Louth TD Mr O’Dowd today took to Twitter saying: “A democratic difference of opinion on when the Taoiseach departs and when a new leader is elected is not unpatriotic. Disgraceful remarks”.

Mr O’Dowd was one of a number of backbench TDs that raised questions about Mr Kenny’s leadership last week.

He said that he’d like to see the party reflect on matter over the summer and that his own view is that he’d like to see a change of leader and a new direction for the party “sooner rather than later”.

Mr O’Dowd wants the party to move more to the centre and warns that Fianna Fáil could pull the plug on the minority government arrangement before Fine Gael has put in place a plan to replace Mr Kenny as leader. 

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