Monday 11 December 2017

Rural promises could get Independents onside

Independent TD Shane Ross. Photo: Tom Burke
Independent TD Shane Ross. Photo: Tom Burke
John Downing

John Downing

Can we depend on the Independents? That is the question today as Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil begin trying to maximise their support for a renewed vote for Taoiseach likely to be put off for three weeks.

To start at the very start, there are 23 TDs in the Dáil operating under the flag of Independent. Six of these are in the Independent Alliance, comprising town and country and left and right, in the person of Shane Ross (Dublin Rathdown), Michael Fitzmaurice (Roscommon-Galway), Finian McGrath (Dublin Bay North), John Halligan (Waterford), Kevin 'Boxer' Moran (Longford-Westmeath) and Seán Canney (Galway East). That leaves 17 "Independent Independents", quintessential political sole traders scattered variously around the country and from a wide variety of political backgrounds.

Five of these are in Dublin and all these are broadly on the left of the political spectrum, though with varying degrees of militancy.

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