Thursday 22 March 2018

Alliance to back the Government as an international policing expert to be drafted in

Ministers John Halligan, Shane Ross and Finian McGrath Photo: Tony Gavin
Ministers John Halligan, Shane Ross and Finian McGrath Photo: Tony Gavin
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Independent Alliance ministers are still “confused” about Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s dealing with the Garda whistleblower scandal – but will express confidence in the Government tonight.

After a series of meeting the Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald promised to recruit “an independent, international, policing expert” to carry out an investigation into the wider issues of public concern that have arisen in recent days.

Transport Minister Shane Ross said this was enough to ensure their continued participation in government but added that they had considered pulling out.

“We have been dismayed and, frankly, disturbed by the contradictory versions of events which have emerged this week.

“Some aspects of Cabinet communications are not working effectively or appropriately. This is not how we wish to do business,” Mr Ross said.

He said the Alliance went into government “in good faith” and that is “greater than any individual or personality within it and we are committed to delivering on the promises we made when we took office”.

Asked if the Alliance members had confidence in Taoiseach Enda Kenny, he replied: “We are upset and very distressed by what happened, both with the Taoiseach and other members of government in the last few days.

“We do not think it would be appropriate in this situation where we’re putting down a motion of confidence in the Government to suggest that we have no confidence in the Taoiseach.”

Mr Ross said they had received assurances that communications between ministers will be improved.

“There’s obviously been a real problem with communications between some Cabinet ministers and too much going on behind the scenes. Too much silence. Not enough revelations. Items come to Cabinet under the arm,” he said.

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