Wednesday 23 January 2019

'An election over an email would be needless and costly’ – Independent Alliance

Independent Alliance TD's John Halligan TD ,Finian McGrath, Shane Ross TD,Sean Canney and Kevin
Independent Alliance TD's John Halligan TD ,Finian McGrath, Shane Ross TD,Sean Canney and Kevin "Boxer" Moran at a press briefing at Government Buildings, Dublin today. Stephen Collins/ Collins Photos.
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil need to “step back from the brink and prevent a needless and costly general election”, the Independent Alliance has said.

Transport Minister Shane Ross said it would be “disproportionate” for Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald to be removed from office because of an email.

“Going to the country in the weeks before Christmas is not what the country either needs or wants.

“It seems possible, even likely, that it could take months for another government to be formed,” it seems.

The minister was flanked by Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, Finian McGrath, John Halligan and Sean Canney as he warned the upcoming Brexit talks were more important than current controversy.

They were speaking as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader held face-to-face talks in a bid to avert the crisis.

Mr Moran launched a blistering attack on Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin, who have both tabled motions of no confidence in Ms Fitzgerald.

He said the group have 100pc confidence in her and suggested the two Opposition parties were merely trying to set up their own government.

“Look at the papers from last week, you had people from Fianna Fáil looking to go into Government with Sinn Féin. Now they’re pushing for that and they put pressure on Micheál Martin here today. We are on the brink of a Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin new policy document, new government. Is this what they are planning? This is wrong. We deserve to give the people leadership,” he said.

Mr Moran went on to question why Fianna Fáil were taking such a hard line when this month seven years ago “they were the party that told the people of this country that the IMF wasn’t in this country”.

“Then you have a Sinn Féin party that court marshalled a Tánaiste inside the Chamber this week. These are the people that brought down the Government in the North and they want an election here. How would that look on the people of the country. We have to get real,” he said.

Mr Halligan said the EU Council meeting next month will be “some of the most important negotiations this country has ever entered into”.

“We are now making an appeal to the people of Ireland to say to the two main parties you’re going to bring the government down on an email. This would be unacceptable to the people of Ireland,” he said.

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