Marc MacSharry has said he intends to return to Fianna Fáil before the end of the year.
Mr MacSharry resigned from Fianna Fáil’s parliamentary party last year and has been an outspoken critic of Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s leadership in recent years.
But the Sligo-Leitrim TD made a surprise appearance at the Fianna Fáil ard fheis in Dublin on Saturday and told Independent.ie of his plans to return.
“There would be a view to rejoining the parliamentary party in due course so that I can once again bring robust argument to formulation of policy based on what the delegates and Fianna Fáil membership of Sligo-Leitrim, south Donegal, and north Roscommon constituents bring forward,” he said.
He said that he has supported the Government on all legislation in the Dáil since he left in the autumn of 2021, save for one private member’s motion of “little consequence”. He said there would be no pre-conditions to his return, noting he was still a paid-up member.
“You can’t be a diva in Fianna Fáil, there are no prima donnas,” he said.
Mr MacSharry said it was his intention to return to the parliamentary party before the end of the year. Under internal party rules, he would have to secure a proposer and a seconder for a motion that he be readmitted.
The former party transport spokesperson said he had not spoken to the Taoiseach specifically about his intention to rejoin the PP, but that he had had a brief conversation with him earlier this week to commend him on the Budget, while suggesting the 10pc levy on concrete be postponed for another year.
Speaking about the circumstances of his departure last year, Mr MacSharry said: “I was very annoyed and [it] required a protest at that time in terms of the motion of no confidence following umpteen Fine Gael misdemeanours at the time.
“At which time I felt we were entitled to assert ourselves as a party and say that this is the end of the road. That’s done over a year ago now.”
He was referring to his decision to back a motion of no confidence in Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney over his botched handling of the abandoned Katherine Zappone UN envoy appointment.
Mr MacSharry said he was also attending the ard fheis to campaign for his first cousin Dr Edel MacSharry, head of the school of nursing in St Angela’s College in Sligo, who is running for an internal Fianna Fáil committee.
Fianna Fáil minister Dara Calleary told the Sunday Independent last week that he would like Mr MacSharry to rejoin the parliamentary party and would give him 100pc support if he applied to do so.
“He’s still a very passionate member of the house and I’d like to have that passion inside the tent,” the junior minister said.