Sunday 21 January 2018

FG warned no party reforms preparations until new leader in place

Tom Curran, Fine Gael's general secretary. Photo: Tom Burke
Tom Curran, Fine Gael's general secretary. Photo: Tom Burke

Philip Ryan and Niall O’Connor

Fine Gael has been told political reforms which could boost the party's chances ahead of a General Election cannot be put in place until a new party leader is appointed.

At a parliamentary party meeting, Fine Gael general secretary Tom Curran told politicians a radical overhaul of the party would not be fully implemented until Taoiseach Enda Kenny is replaced.

Sources at the meeting said the intervention by Mr Curran was significant because it was the first time the future of the party was discussed since Mr Kenny announced his intention to step down.

Mr Curran was discussing recommended party reforms set out in two reviews of Fine Gael after the party’s disastrous general election last year.

The general secretary said decisions relating to market research would be left to the new Fine Gael leader.

Those anxious for Mr Kenny to step down as leader were buoyed by Mr Curran’s comments.

Meanwhile, the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting was dominated by water charges.

Party leader Micheál Martin said the issue had been dealt with effectively by Fianna Fáil and that the party's position would be vindicated in the future.

Fianna Fáil's water spokesperson Barry Cowen criticised TDs who he said were expressing disquiet about the party's position to members of the media.

He said that the Confidence and Supply Agreement states that an Advisory group should be set up to monitor water charges and Irish Water and that he will insist this is delivered upon.

Some TDs, including Tipperary deputy Jackie Cahill, raised concern about group water schemes.

But reassurances were issued by the party leadership.

A Fine Gael spokesman said: "There was not mention of a general election at the parliamentary party"

Online Editors

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