Tuesday 23 January 2018

Lowry tells Independents: 'It's time for the talking to finish' ahead of Taoiseach vote

Michael Lowry with fellow Independent TDs Danny and Michael Healy-Rae at Leinster House Photo: Tom Burke
Michael Lowry with fellow Independent TDs Danny and Michael Healy-Rae at Leinster House Photo: Tom Burke
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Independent TD Michael Lowry has said that non-party TDs involved in government formation talks should "make up their mind and get on with it" on the subject of who to back for Taoiseach in this Thursday's crunch Dáil vote.

The Tipperary TD backed his former party colleague Enda Kenny in last week's inconclusive round of voting in Leinster House.

Mr Lowry said he voted for Mr Kenny because he's leading "the biggest party and it's the one that's in a position to lead a minority government".

Now he says it's time for other Independents to nail their colours to the mast.

Asked if he felt left out of the negotiations between the two main parties and Independents, he replied: "Sure I had my mind made up before they ever talked.

"It's time for the talking to finish. It's time for people to make up their mind and get on with it."

Mr Lowry said he believed that with Fianna Fáil's rejection of Mr Kenny's partnership government proposal, a Fine Gael-led minority administration "is the only possibility of a government now".

He did not specify if his support for a Fine Gael-led government extends beyond Thursday's vote, saying that his priority was the formation of a government "in the national interest".

"We have to make it as stable as possible for as long as possible and let's take it from there," he added.

Kerry Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae said Mr Lowry was "right, to a degree" that Independents had to make up their mind.

But he said that he was waiting for the outcome of talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil on how a minority government would work before he decided whether he would cast his vote for Mr Kenny or Mr Martin or abstain. "I'm looking forward to seeing something positive coming out of that meeting because if there isn't some sort of white smoke... we'll be heading for an election," Mr Healy-Rae said.

Meanwhile, 'Rural Five' Independent TD Dr Michael Harty said his group had not yet come to an agreement on who it would support for Taoiseach.

He told RTÉ that they were waiting for details on how a minority government would come to decisions and pass a Budget before they would commit to either side.

Irish Independent

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