Michael Lowry: I haven't really been ruled out of a Coalition - Taoiseach left a 'caveat' in place
Former Fine Gael minister Michael Lowry believes that the Taoiseach left a "caveat" in place when ruling him out as a potential kingmaker after the election.
Enda Kenny finally moved yesterday to say he would not seek support from the Tipperary North TD in the event the Coalition falls short of the numbers required for re-election.
The Fine Gael leader was first asked the question last month and has repeatedly faced it over the past fortnight.
Having held a consistent line that he did not believe he would have to do a deal with any Independents, he changed his response on RTÉ radio.
Asked again if he would rule out Mr Lowry, inset, who has been the subject of adverse findings by the Moriarty Tribunal, Mr Kenny replied: "Yes."
He added: "I will not have any dealing with Michael Lowry - or any other Independent."
Despite the comments, Mr Lowry told the Irish Independent he believes the door is still open.
"He put the caveat in of 'all Independents'.
"I'm very happy to be allowed [continue] with my canvass and getting the approval of the electorate in Tipperary," he said.
"I've no intention of getting involved in conjecture or speculation. The people speculating might be better to focus on improving their own campaigns."
Renua leader Lucinda Creighton welcomed Mr Kenny's comments, saying it took him 13 attempts to give the correct answer.