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Tag Archives: Coalition

Rollercoaster Dáil term for Crowe as first-time TD

IT would be something of an understatement to say that a lot has happened in the months since Monday, February 10. It snowed in North Clare on the day that Cathal Crowe was unveiled as a new TD, after a General Election count fraught with drama. And while many thought hell would freeze over before Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael would coalesce, and join with the Greens in a history-making new administration, that is what has transpired, against the backdrop of a global pandemic. Ten days later Deputy Crowe took his seat in the Dáil, and received the keys to his new office on the third floor of the Leinster House 2000 building. Since then, he has been putting in gruelling 14-16 hour days and, after the protracted process of government formation, he believes he has found his stride as a national representative. “As a first-time TD, you’re on a very steep learning curve,” he said. “It’s like Fresher’s Week …

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Senator Dooley returns from political wilderness

AS one of the so-called ‘Taoiseach’s 11’, Senator Timmy Dooley said he is delighted to return to the upper house, where he pledged to leverage his close contacts at the cabinet table in the best interests of Clare. The Mountshannon native denied that the beard he sported during lockdown was symbolic of his stint in the political wilderness, after two two unsuccessful election campaigns, one for the Dáil and the other for the Seanad. A fund-raising shave raised over €2,000 for Sláinte an Chláir and sharpened his image for a return to Leinster House. The former Fianna Fáil TD is intimately familiar with the corridors of power, and his senator’s office is in close proximity to some of those who will be sitting at the cabinet table. “My close colleagues Micheal McGrath and Darragh O’Brien have two powerful portfolios,” he said. “I was in Ógra Fianna Fáil with Norma Foley 30 years ago. I won’t be slow to use my …

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“We won’t be counting our chickens”

ON Wednesday morning, Councillor Róisín Garvey was gearing up to promote the benefits of going into government to her party colleagues. “The last phase is the most important one. The members have to vote and in the Green Party, it requires two-thirds, so we won’t be counting our chickens,” she said. The fact that such a high threshold must be passed means that the formation of a new government involving the Greens is still quite uncertain. Councillor Garvey said she wants the party to go into government but doesn’t know how strong internal opposition may be. “They have been very vocal, the people against it, but how many of them there are, I don’t know. “The national media have given loads of coverage to the ones against it in our party but I can’t surmise from that how many are against it.” The Clare Greens held an online meeting on Tuesday evening, with four of the party’s TDs attending, along …

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McNamara Bides His Time on Support for Proposed Coalition

DEPUTY Michael McNamara is to wait to see how members of the three coalition parties vote on the Programme for Government before making his mind up on whether to support the history-making arrangement. The view of grassroots members of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party, who will be balloted individually by post, are expected to be made public by June 26. In the meantime, the Independent Clare TD said he saw very little in the 126-page document which would benefit the midwestern region. “There would appear to be no input from this region in the document,” he said. “I would have to ask what influence, if any, TDs from Fianna Fáil, the Greens or Fine Gael have. There are lots of details about planned infrastructure for Dublin, but no definite details for many projects outside of it. There’s no reference to Shannon Airport or to balancing aviation policy. When it comes to farming, there seems to be great …

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McNamara among trio of Independents in FF-FG talks

CLARE’s Independent TD has described his talks on supporting a Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil coalition as “constructive”, but said he believes the parties’ preferred option is to have the Greens on-board, reducing the requirement for non-party deputies. Deputy Michael McNamara met a negotiating team for two hours last Monday, alongside fellow Independents Marian Harkin (Sligo-Leitrim) and Michael Fitzmaurice (Roscommon-Galway), and said that while the encounter was worthwhile, it didn’t constitute “meaningful negotiations”. “The talks were constructive, but I wouldn’t say there was any great level of engagement on either said,” he said. “The very clear preference is to get the Greens on board, alongside a few Independents bolted on for added stability.” The three rural Independents presented a joint document and reviewed the framework document drawn up by the parties. Deputy McNamara stressed, however, that that he would be working independently for this constituency. “Everything I do is based on what’s best for Clare, even though we met as a team,” …

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Killaloe FF call on party not to snub members ‘for sake of power’

FIANNA FÁIL members of the Killaloe Municipal District are leading calls for consultation with grassroots on the nature of the next government, saying the party “must not for the sake of power, ignore the membership”. In a joint statement, Councillors Alan O’Callaghan, Pat Hayes and Tony O’Brien have urged members across the country to make their views known, and called for a postal ballot on a Programme for Government. All three councillors have also expressed their preference for an interim government of national unity rather than a coalition with Fine Gael and a third party. “Normally, under party rules, an Árd Fheis would be held and postal vote shouldn’t be a major problem,” said Councillor O’Callaghan. “There has been mention of talks over the phone with HQ and Comhairle Dáil Ceanntairs, but our preference would be a vote. HQ have no bother writing to us when they want church gate collections organised and membership paid for.” He expressed the view …

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