Wednesday 13 November 2019

Alan Kelly slams 'cowardly' elements in Fine Gael working against him

Abrasive style: Minister for Environment Alan Kelly
Abrasive style: Minister for Environment Alan Kelly

Kevin Doyle Group Political Editor

Environment Minister Alan Kelly has hit out at "cowardly" elements in Fine Gael who he says are briefing against him.

The minister said that he takes "no notice of anonymous commentary" after government sources criticised his style of negotiation and handling of the housing crisis.

He has been described as 'Calamity Kelly' and an 'Action Man' by Coalition colleagues who declined to be named.

Speaking in Athy today, Mr Kelly told "If people are cowardly and don't want to out their names to stuff that's their own business.

"I don't get worried about anonymous press officer briefings, basically taking on myself or about myself.

"I've come through a lot including death threats so these things really don't bother me," Mr Kelly said.

He insisted that a housing package will be completed but couldn't give a deadline for when it would be announced.

"Alan Kelly on his own cannot solve this issue," he said, noting that the plan also involves several other government departments including Finance and Social Protection.

He denied that that a housing package was rejected by his officials in the run up to the Budget, saying meetings that were scheduled to discuss it never took place.

"In relation to the package let me be very clear about this, there was no package on the table. If there was a package on the table I'd say it out straight," he said. 

"It was decided to go with certain things in relation to the budget. And in relation to other issues on housing further discussions were taking place.

"For instance many of the elements of the package need to link together like a jigsaw because they have impacts on one other."

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