Sunday 25 February 2018

Independent TD puts government 'on notice' that he is preparing to withdraw support

Dr Michael Harty. Pic Tom Burke
Dr Michael Harty. Pic Tom Burke
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

An Independent TD who backed Enda Kenny in the vote for Taoiseach has said he is prepared to withdraw his support for the Government.

Clare deputy Dr Michael Harty said the coalition has failed to deliver on his pledge to support the post office network.

Dr Harty told reporters today that he is “putting the Government on notice” that he is prepared to pull his support.

"Certainly I will not stand over a reduction in our post office network," Dr Harty said.

“If there isn’t a programme introduced to support post offices, I will not support this government... if they are going to break that trust then my support will finish.”

Any scenario whereby Dr Harty withdrew his support would put pressure on the Government in contentious votes.

However, Fine Gael sources say they have not relied on Dr Harty’s backing for some time.

Also speaking today, Independent TD Mattie McGrath hit out at ministers over the post office issue.

Mr McGrath likened junior minister Michael Ring to "Pontius Pilate" amid claims he is trying to "offload" the responsibility for post offices onto Communications Minister Denis Naughten.

He made the remarks ahead of a Dáil debate on a motion proposed by the Rural Alliance on the future of the country’s Children’s Hospital.

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