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Sunday 18 February 2018

Green impact 'corrosive', argues O'Dea

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

Former Defence Minister Willie O'Dea last night launched a savage attack on the Green Party describing the behaviour of the junior Coalition partners' as "corrosive" to Government.

Mr O'Dea also said the Government's failure to hold a by-election after 15 months was "undemocratic". And he confirmed he would definitely be running in the next general election, despite some advice that he should retire from politics.

After being forced to resign when the Greens performed a dramatic U-turn on their backing of him, the Limerick TD said the party had acted on rumours in Leinster House about further revelations.

"I do think the Greens behaved very very shabbily," he said.

"I don't bear any particular grudge," he added.

But Mr O'Dea was highly critical of senior figures in the Greens trying to distance the party from unpopular government decisions.

"You can't have it both ways.

"It is very corrosive for government. You can't run a government properly on that basis," he said.

Green Senator Dan Boyle is well-known for his independent comments, but Mr O'Dea said he was surprised to hear he was being authorised to do so by his party leadership.

"I think the Greens should be told to stop tweeting," he said.

Mr O'Dea said the Greens were trying to suggest the decisions being taken were nothing to do with them as they were "on the side of the angels" and it was the "Fianna Fail gangsters doing it".

Mr O'Dea accepted he was wrong to suggest a Sinn Fein councillor was involved with the operation of a brothel in Limerick.

"I said something about somebody that wasn't correct and I shouldn't have done that," he said.

He said the Donegal South-West by-election should be held early next year, as the focus should be on passing the budget.

"It is undemocratic that the constituency remains without representation after 15 months," he said.

Irish Independent

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