Tuesday 21 August 2018

Alliance cancels conference as ministry row rumbles on

Mr Canney met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to discuss the fallout from the row over the junior ministry. Photo: Tom Burke
Mr Canney met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to discuss the fallout from the row over the junior ministry. Photo: Tom Burke

Philip Ryan and Shona Murray

The Independent Alliance has decided to cancel their national conference this weekend over fears internal tension would overshadow the event.

The political group is in turmoil over its decision to allow Longford/Westmeath TD Kevin 'Boxer' Moran to remain as Junior Minister with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW).

Galway East TD Sean Canney has insisted he should hold the title and said the decision has cast doubt over his future allegiance to the Alliance.

Yesterday, the group met and decided to postpone a national conference due to take place in Athlone this weekend.

One source said they were cancelling because they feared the internal row would "overshadow" the event.

Another Independent Alliance source said several councillors aligned to the group said they would not be able to attend because they were canvassing ahead of the Referendum on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.

The group plans to reschedule the conference for a date after the referendum.

Mr Canney met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to discuss the fallout from the row over the junior ministry.

Speaking in Brussels, the Taoiseach confirmed he met the TD but insisted it was up to Mr Canney to decided his political future.

"He has a decision to make and when he does make it is up to him to make the announcement," Mr Varadkar said.

Mr Moran and Mr Canney flipped a coin to decide who would hold the OPW ministry when the Government was formed.

Mr Canney held it for the first year before passing the portfolio to Mr Moran.

Irish Independent

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