Martin brings back senator who quit over children's bill
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has been forced to re-admit one of his longest-serving senators to the party fold after coming under pressure from his own TDs.
The party last night confirmed that Wexford senator Jim Walsh has been allowed to rejoin the parliamentary party after a 10-month absence.
A number of senior TDs had confronted Mr Martin and his senior aides in relation to Mr Walsh, who left the parliamentary party in March over his opposition to the Children and Family Relationship Bill.
Mr Walsh was poised to be stripped of the whip by Mr Martin but instead resigned before such a sanction was taken.
At the time of his departure, a Fianna Fáil spokesperson said Mr Walsh's views were "not consistent" with the party.
After several discussions since his departure, the party has agreed to re-admit Mr Walsh.
The decision was taken yesterday and confirmed by a party spokesperson after the Irish Independent queried the reasons behind the 10-month wait.
The move has also raised fresh questions over Mr Martin's leadership style. "It felt like Jim had been blacklisted and that was causing concern," said a source.