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Greens 'in dark' over exit of senior ministers

THE Green Party last night directly contradicted Fianna Fail and claimed it had no "indication whatsoever" of the co-ordinated resignations of senior ministers.

Green Party leader John Gormley claimed there was a certain amount of "retrospective justification" going on with "certain Fianna Fail ministers".

The angry charge came after Fianna Fail figures such as Defence Minister Tony Killeen said he believed the Green Party had been aware of the planned resignations of ministers.

Under that impression, Mr Killeen wrote his letter of resignation to the Taoiseach following the meeting with the Green Party, which he had also attended on Wednesday.

But Mr Gormley last night insisted he had met ministers such as Mary Harney and Dermot Ahern on Wednesday evening and was given "no indication whatsoever" of their imminent resignation.

Hours after Mr Gormley talked with the two senior ministers, Ms Harney, Mr Ahern, Mr Killeen and Noel Dempsey tendered their resignations as ministers.


To prove his level of unawareness about the events of the last two days, Mr Gormley claimed he had been contacted by Mr Ahern after the RTE's 'Six One News' informing him that his medical condition would not affect him undertaking his cabinet duties.

It was Mr Gormley's wife who later informed him of Ms Harney's resignation.

The Green Party's unhappiness about the proposed reshuffle forced numerous meetings yesterday morning and an eventual U-turn by the Taoiseach.

The Green Party leader refused to accuse Fianna Fail of any dishonesty but insisted he was telling the "plain, unvarnished truth".

When a reshuffle was first mooted on Sunday, Mr Gormley told the Taoiseach it "wasn't a very good idea".

This was repeated in the meeting on Wednesday attended by the Taoiseach, Mr Killeen, Mr Gormley, Eamon Ryan and Senator Dan Boyle.

"We could not have been clearer. . . We said this is not a good idea, this sent out all of the wrong signals. Irish people were suffering and they were furious and this would be the final insult," Mr Gormley said of the meeting on Wednesday.

Irish Independent