Donnelly says he's considering move to Fianna Fail
INDEPENDENT TD Stephen Donnelly has admitted that he may join Fianna Fail but insisted that he has held no discussions with party figures.
The Wicklow TD said that joining Fianna Fail is one of a number of options which he is now considering.
He said that he has spent his life "working within organisations" and that there are clear advantages associated with being in a political party.
Mr Donnelly is the latest politician to be linked to a move to FF after it signed up former Labour chairman Colm Keaveney last week .
However, he said he believed Fianna Fail does not yet have "coherent policies" and suggested that any such a move to the party would depend on it having a "strong policy team".
"I'm not pursuing joining any party, however, it is a possibility. It's one of a number of possibilities I'm considering at the moment. I'm not ruling anything in or out," he told the Irish Independent.
Asked whether he could see himself fitting in with Fianna Fail, Mr Donnelly said he did not believe the party has yet fully rebuilt itself.
"I don't think Fianna Fail has coherent policies at the moment. They are still recovering from what's happened."
Mr Donnelly also said he wouldn't rule out the prospect of being involved in setting up a new party. He said he has not held any formal talks with other individuals about such a proposal. The focus on Mr Donnelly's political future intensified after Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore predicted that he would be "wearing the Fianna Fail jersey" by the next general election.
Addressing the Tanaiste on behalf of the Technical Group, Mr Donnelly read out extracts from letters sent to him by constituents affected by budget cuts.
After Mr Donnelly stated that he was missing his child's Christmas party in order to take Leaders' Questions, the Labour leader replied: "Well, I'm sorry you're missing your children's Christmas play. But can I predict what you won't miss. I think you will not miss the Fianna Fail parliamentary party away day in 2015 before the general election."
Referring to the exchange, Mr Donnelly said: "They are used to . . . avoiding questions by blaming FF and somehow he's managed to avoid my questions now by attacking Fianna Fail. It's not good enough."