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Is Fine Gael taking disciplinary action against TDs over critical article?

Eight Fine Gael TDs co-authored a piece voicing criticism of the Government’s stance on the Croke Park Agreement – but is the party disciplining them for this?
Oct 17th 2012, 1:57 PM 5,832 45

ON MONDAY, EIGHT Fine Gael TDs co-authored an article in the Irish Examiner that voiced criticism of the Government’s stance on the Croke Park Agreement.

Today, questions surround what happened next: Has the party begun disciplinary action? Writing in today’s Irish Times, Harry McGee says that a source said there will be “consequences” for their actions, and that there will be disciplinary measures taken against the eight.

The eight TDs who wrote the article are: Sean Conlan, Paul Connaughton, Pat Deering, Brendan Griffin, Noel Harrington, Sean Kyne, Anthony Lawlor, and Eoghan Murphy.

When contacted, the Fine Gael press office said that it doesn’t comment on internal party matters, and that this constitutes an internal party matter.

The government whip, Paul Kehoe, also refused to comment, saying that the issue is between the party and the TDs.

However, a source told TheJournal.ie that the party has met with a number of the TDs individually – although it is not known what was discussed during the meetings or what action, if any, could be taken.

One TD said that the subject had been discussed between party members but in conversational rather than an official manner.

In the Irish Examiner article, the TDs argued that if the Government wants to tackle the budget deficit, pay increases for those on higher wages “must be put back on the table”. They also questioned the savings being made under the Croke Park Agreement, and whether they had been overstated.

Labour TDs criticised the eight TDs yesterday, with one backbencher describing their arguments in the article as ‘rants’.

Read: Fine Gael TDs challenge Government stance on Croke Park>

Read: Labour TDs criticise Fine Gael ‘rants’ about Croke Park deal>

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Aoife Barry

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