Monday 23 April 2018

Reilly admits decisions on health 'repugnant'

Former minister James Reilly admitted he had to make some “fairly repugnant” decisions
Former minister James Reilly admitted he had to make some “fairly repugnant” decisions

Jane O'Faherty

Former Fine Gael Minister James Reilly has admitted decisions he took on health were "fairly repugnant" to him.

Speaking after he lost his Dublin Fingal seat, the GP said: "Probably my time in health wouldn't have been helpful when the country had no money and hard decisions had to be made, which we did manage to reverse.

"As somebody who worked as a doctor, they were fairly repugnant to me," he added.

Mr Reilly was one of the biggest casualties of the General Election, securing less than half of the 10,178 first preference votes he secured in 2011.

However, he urged elected TDs to "roll up their sleeves" to arrange a viable coalition.

In stark contrast, Fianna Fail's Darragh O'Brien was the first candidate to be elected, securing 10,826 first preference votes, a jump from just over 4,000 in 2011 when he lost his seat.

He was joined by Independent candidate Clare Daly, who got 9,480 first preference votes. She was elected on the fourth count after she transferred well from the other Independents.

Brendan Ryan was re-elected for Labour on the 10th count alongside Sinn Féin's Louise O'Reilly and Fine Gael's Alan Farrell.

Mr Ryan said he was delighted to be back in but recognised it had been a "difficult" election for his party.

"The most disappointing thing was to see Fianna Fáil being forgiven, and we were being punished for fixing it," he added.

Ms O'Reilly said she has shown her party is "transfer-friendly" as she gathered a total of 8,771 votes after transfers - under the quota but it was enough to be deemed elected.

"It's not a protest vote, it's not a negative vote. It's a very, very positive thing," she said, flanked by fellow Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald.

Irish Independent

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