Monday 19 August 2019

Fine Gael TD 'very close' to resigning over water charges

Brendan Griffin,Fine Gael deputy for Kerry South
Brendan Griffin,Fine Gael deputy for Kerry South
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

A Fine Gael TD says he is “very close” to resigning from the party over the water charges debacle.

Party backbencher Brendan Griffin says he has to consider “where is the red line” which would push him over the edge and leave the Government.

“When the time comes or if the time comes that I feel there is absolutely no more influence that I can change for the better, well then, obviously, you’d be a fool to stay where you are.”

“I am very close to that. I am very close to that,” he said on Radio Kerry.

The Kerry South TD said backbenchers felt they had to work together to bring about change in the way the Dail operated.

“Well I don’t want to get into the numbers at this stage in time but certainly, amongst people on the backbenches, there is a strong feeling that we need to act in numbers and we need to collectively bring about this change,” he said.

Mr Griffin was highly critical of the handling of the water charges by the Government.

“I have to consider also, you know, where is, you know, where is the red line? Where is the point where you can say: ‘No more’? And I can tell you, I know that the people are saying this is getting very close to the point where we can say: ‘No more’. Because what we have here is another example in 2014 of an issue that the Government has completely mishandled.

“That is, you know, in the context of an overall macroeconomic situation that is improving immensely but has a long way to go as well – I absolutely appreciate that – but we have come a huge way from where we were in 2011. So as a government TD I need to balance all of these things, but, as I said, there has to be now, there has to be change in the way that we do business in Dail Eireann,” he said.

During his speech at the meeting, Kerry TD Brendan Griffin told Mr Kenny that the party "can no longer take my vote got granted".

However, it's not believed that Mr Griffin has any intentions to quit the party at this point in time.

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