Monday 5 December 2016

Prominent senator quits 'Independent Alliance' due to frustration over lack of involvement in Government formation talks

Niall O'Connor, Political Correspondent

Published 29/04/2016 | 17:10

Senator Gerry Craughwell, former president of the TUI
Senator Gerry Craughwell, former president of the TUI

A prominent senator has quit the so-called 'Independent Alliance' after being left frustrated over a lack of involvement in the Government formation talks.

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Senator Gerard Craughwell was one of nine independent senators elected in this week's Seanad elections.

Mr Craughwell was also a founding member of the Independent Alliance, whose support will be essential in securing the re-election of Enda Kenny as Taoiseach next week.

It's understood that after his election to the Seanad this week, Mr Craughwell approached his former Independent Alliance colleagues with a view to being brought into the talks process with Fine Gael.

He is the only senator in the alliance, which includes TDs Shane Ross, Finian McGrath, Sean Canney, Michael Fitzmaurice, Kevin 'Boxer' Moran and John Halligan.

But Mr Craughwell quit the alliance after it became apparent in his view that his involvement in the talks wasn't being sought.

He had been particularly keen to ensure the issue of Seanad reform was on the agenda with Fine Gael negotiators.

Mr Craughwell confirmed his departure from the group when contacted by Independent.ie today.

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