Labour TDs tell Gilmore he should have helped Shortall
TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore has been forced to fend off complaints that he did not act quickly enough to prevent the resignation of former junior minister Roisin Shortall.
Her departure after a long-running row with Health Minister James Reilly dominated yesterday's meeting of the Labour parliamentary party.
Mr Gilmore and other senior Labour ministers told the meeting that they fully respected Ms Shortall -- but that she should not have quit so hastily.
Some Labour TDs believe more should have been done by Mr Gilmore, who has been criticised by Ms Shortall for backing Dr Reilly instead of her. But there were also TDs who felt that Ms Shortall should have sought help from her party colleagues in her battle with Dr Reilly, rather than resigning.
Junior Minister Kathleen Lynch defended the leadership by saying said she did not give a damn who was Minister for Health and that it was the Government that she was backing.
Galway West TD Derek Nolan said Ms Shortall had taken out a "machine gun" to her colleagues on the 'Marian Finucane Show' last weekend.
The meeting was told that Mr Gilmore met Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the two warring ministers last July in an attempt to sort it out.
Last night, the Government said that Ms Shortall's replacement, the new junior minister Alex White, would be holding discussions with Dr Reilly in the coming days about getting new powers to implement his primary-care reforms. Ms Shortall had complained that Dr Reilly would not delegate her any powers in this area.