Monday 19 March 2018

'I feel like we are going in the right direction', says Varadkar after meetings with FF and Independents

Newly appointed Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar. Photo: Tom Burke
Newly appointed Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar. Photo: Tom Burke
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

FIANNA Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said that his party will facilitate the election of Leo Varadkar as Taoiseach in the Dáil next week.

His confirmation came after what Mr Martin described as a "frank, constructive, professional and businesslike" meeting with Mr Varadkar today.

However, Fianna Fáil is demanding more rapid progress on issues such as housing and healthcare, and wants a new focus on education in the coming months.

Mr Martin said the housing crisis is getting worse and his party wants to see greater supply in the market.

On health he said Fianna Fáil wants action on hospital waiting lists.

He said: "We made it clear that we’re not entirely happy wit the last 12 months in terms of the executive and delivery of key elements of the confidence and supply agreement and particularly substantive issues such as health and housing.

"Too many people still can’t get a roof over their heads and also too many people are waiting too long for operations and for access to health services."

Mr Varadkar is likely to be elected as Taoiseach Enda Kenny's successor in a Dáil vote as early as next Tuesday.

Mr Martin said that his party will honour the terms of the 'Confidence and Supply' agreement with Fine Gael and will facilitate Mr Varadkar's election by abstaining from the vote.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Varadkar said in a statement:

"I had a series of meetings today with Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin, and Independent Ministers and TDs.

“The meetings focused on legislation that needs to be prioritised, improving the working of the Dáil, and accelerating the implementation of commitments in the Programme for Government.

“All of the meetings were useful and I feel that we are going in the right direction."

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