Twelve Government TDs quit parties - and two returned
SINCE this Government took office in March 2009, a total of 12 TDs have quit their parties.
Six left the Fine Gael fold and six also departed from Labour. One from each party later returned to the ranks.
First out was Fine Gael's Denis Naughten over broken promises on the status of his local Roscommon Hospital in summer 2011.
Five Fine Gael TDs left the party in July 2013 over their opposition to the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill.
These were Lucinda Creighton (inset), Dublin South-East; Billy Timmins, Wicklow; Brian Walsh, Galway West; Terence Flanagan, Dublin North-East; and Peter Matthews, Dublin South. Brian Walsh of Galway West returned to the party in April 2014.
In autumn-winter 2011, Patrick Nulty, a new by-election TD from Dublin West, and Tommy Broughan from Dublin North-East, quit Labour over opposition to the Budget. Junior housing minister Willie Penrose of Longford-Westmeath resigned over the closure of the military barracks in Mullingar.
In September 2012, junior health minister Roisin Shortall resigned from government and from Labour over what she said was lack of support in disagreements with then-Health Minister, James Reilly. In December 2012, Colm Keaveney of Galway East quit Labour over budget issues and confirmed his estrangement by joining Fianna Fáil a year later.
In October 2013 Willie Penrose returned to the Labour fold.
Anne Ferris of Wicklow has now left Labour in this latest disagreement. But she says she hopes to rejoin.