Friday 20 April 2018

Shane Ross: 'We won't negotiate under threat of another election'

Shane Ross of the Independent Alliance Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney
Shane Ross of the Independent Alliance Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Barry Lennon

SHANE ROSS said the Independent Alliance would not negotiate with Fine Gael “under threat” of another General Election.

The Dublin Rathdown TD criticised Health Minister Leo Varadkar after he posted a picture of his Election posters and wrote they were “ready to be deployed” again on Twitter.

Mr Ross said his group of Independents “would certainly not take that threat" of a second vote "seriously” ahead of talks with Fine Gael.

“We're not going to negotiate under threat. We're not going to take that sort of nonsense from Varadkar or anybody else...that there's a General Election threatened to us, he said.

“We won't regard that as something we'll respond to positively. We're certainly not going to take that threat seriously.”

Mr Ross denied that it was “inevitable” there would be another election as TDs prepare to vote for a Taoiseach again on Wednesday, when a clear result is not expected.

He and other Independent TDs said they shared the public's frustration as government-forming negotiations continue more than a month after polling day.

Read more: Leo Varadkar criticised over tweet of election posters 'ready to be deployed'

“You'd need the patience of Saint Job to put up with what's going on (with Fine Gael and Fianna Fail) and their refusal to meet until next Wednesday,” he added.

Waterford TD John Halligan said the Independent Alliance would not shy away from another General Election this year if it came about.

“We're not afraid of another election,” he said.

“The people have already spoken. It is unfair to go back to the people and say, 'we don't like how you voted' but if we have to face the electorate, we're prepared to face them.”

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