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TDs Donnelly, Shortall, Murphy form new party

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Róisín Shortall TD

Róisín Shortall TD

Senator Katherine Zappone

Senator Katherine Zappone

Stephen Donnelly TD

Stephen Donnelly TD

Catherine Murphy TD

Catherine Murphy TD

Senator Jillian van Turnhout

Senator Jillian van Turnhout

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Róisín Shortall TD

Independent TDs Catherine Murphy, Stephen Donnelly and Róisín Shortall are joining forces to set up a new political party, the Irish Independent can reveal.

The move comes as the Coalition parties are squabbling over the carve-up of the Budget spoils. Fine Gael wants the restoration of the scrapped telephone allowance. But this has been shot down by the Labour Party, which wants the respite grant to be increased in October's Budget.

Mr Donnelly confirmed talks about the setting up of the new party are under way.

"There are talks going on and at this point, I am not in a position to say who, what and when," he said.

The three TDs are linking up with Senator Katherine Zappon, one of the Taoiseach's nominees in the Seanad.

Ms Murphy has doggedly pursued businessman Denis O'Brien's financial transactions involving IBRC and the sale of Siteserv.

The move came as Ms Murphy was cleared by an Oireachtas committee of abusing Dáil privilege in comments she made about the sale of Siteserv.

Irish Independent