ARE WE ABOUT to see another Independent TD join the ranks of Fianna Fáil?
No, says Stephen Donnelly.
On top of suggestions in several newspapers this weekend, Independent TD faced accusations from Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore today that he “will be wearing the Fianna Fáil jersey at the next General Election”.
And between now and then, you will do Fianna Fáil’s work for them by coming in here.
In the heated exchange during Leaders’ Questions, the Wicklow and East Carlow TD had questioned the Tánasite on implementing budget cuts despite analysis stating that it will affect low-income families the most.
“It is a disgrace. It’s bad social policy, it’s bad economic policy, and it leads to a rise in inequality, and inequality is bad for everybody”, he said.
“You of all people know that, but that is what you are doing.”
He added that by attending today’s session he was missing his child’s Christmas play.
“Well I’m sorry you’re missing your children’s Christmas play,” the Tánaiste responded, “but can I predict what you won’t miss? The Fianna Fáil parliamentary party away day in 2015, before the General Election”.
While the TD did not have the chance to respond to the accusations in the chamber, he took to Twitter afterwards to clear up any confusion.
“It ain’t so”, he said.
Former Labour party chairman Colm Keaveney, and more recently Independent TD for East Galway, joined Fianna Fáíl in a shock move last week, while TD Peter Matthews stated that he has engaged in no formal discussions with the party about a possible move to their ranks.