Saturday 10 December 2016

Shifting sands spell danger for fragile majority

Published 25/09/2010 | 05:00

The decision of Independent TD Noel Grealish to withdraw his support from the Government has cut the Coalition's already slim majority from six votes to four.

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It means Government chief whip John Curran will be under even more pressure to ensure that every Government-supporting TD turns up for even the most mundane votes in the next Dail term. There are three vacant seats in the 166-member Dail -- one from Donegal South West, one from Dublin South and one from Waterford. If the Government were to lose all three by-elections, its majority would be reduced to just one.

Currently, the Coalition is comprised of:



  • Fianna Fail -- 69 TDs*
  • Green Party -- 6 TDs
  • Independents -- 2 TDs (Michael Lowry and Jackie Healy-Rae)
  • Ex-PDs -- 1 (Mary Harney)
  • Independent Fianna Fail -- 4 (Eamon Scanlon, Jimmy Devins, Jim McDaid and Mattie McGrath)


Total: 83

(*Does not include Ceann Comhairle Seamus Kirk, a Fianna Fail TD for Louth.)

The Opposition TDs and others are:



  • Fine Gael - 51
  • Labour - 20
  • Independents -- 3 (Finian McGrath, Maureen O'Sullivan and Joe Behan)
  • Sinn Fein - 4
  • Ex-PDs - 1 (Noel Grealish)


Total: 79

Irish Independent

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