Fingal TDs react to new Programme for Government
With Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party having agreed on a programme of government last week, a local Fine Gael TD has spoken of the prospects of working with his rival party, and what the future now holds for the people of Fingal.
Speaking to The Fingal Independent, Deputy Alan Farrell gives his thoughts on entering coalition with Fianna Fáil, and how the new programme for government will affect the people of the North County: 'For many years, going back to 2011, I was actually of the view contrary to most that the ideology of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael were broadly similar.
'There are slight differences in certain areas, social policy and things like that, but in the main if you compare it to most other democracies, the differences are far fewer than the similarities.
'I've always been of the view that if it was needed then the two parties should come together for coalition purposes (and)...I haven't really changed my view since then.'
He says: 'There are aspects to the programme for government that I am personally pleased with and pleased from a constituency perspective.
'I think certainly the transport and environmental side are to be welcomed in Fingal, things like the electrification of the commuter line, the Metro delivery, and the housing policy which I think has added ambition to the policy that was already there.
'So I can see that benefiting the constituency too.'
Deputy Farrell says he is also pleased with healthcare provisions in the programme for government, and for funding for Slaintecare and what it will bring to the constituency, including a proposal for a new hospital for North County Dublin, which he says will greatly benefit the area.
He says there now needs to be a 'meaningful conversation' on the aviation sector too, given the impact COVID-19 has had on Dublin Airport, which he says is integral for the tourism industry in Fingal.
The Fine Gael TD says that, regardless of what parties are now in government, a 'Herculean effort' is now needed to get the country back on its feet.
'The focus would have to turn back to the policies that got us where we were on the 7th of February or the 13th of March or whatever it was when we locked down. So that is going to be the focus, and that is going to be a Herculean effort.
'Whatever government or group of Tds happen to be on the day, that will be the focus and that will be what is required to get Ireland back on its feet and get as many people back into the workforce as we can.'
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health Louise O'Reilly has said that while she expected little in the Programme for Government from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to address our health service crisis, the final document was even more disappointing than expected and will cement Ireland's two-tier system.
A Fingal Labour TD has said that while the recently announced programme for government falls short of reflecting the 'values and policy' of the Labour Party, it would continue to support any measures to improve the quality of life for the people of Fingal.