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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 19 February, 2019
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'I'm most certainly not a Tory myself'

Paschal Donohoe dropped by TheJournal.ie today to discuss Labour’s latest attack on Fine Gael and other matters.

Source: Quinton Reilly/TheJournal.ie

NO MATTER HOW much he is highly-rated by his own party, Paschal Donohoe is just like every other TD.

In the forthcoming general election, Fine Gael’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Trade is battling to hold his seat and, in Dublin Central, it’s a real dogfight.

The constituency has been redrawn considerably and reduced to a three-seater where four incumbents are seeking re-election.

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald and independent Maureen O’Sullivan are seen as safe bets. But Donohoe is battling for his political life alongside his Labour colleague in government, Joe Costello.

It’s unlikely the two men will both take seats in the 32nd Dáil.

paschal

With that in mind, Labour can be expected to ramp-up its pre-election attacks on Fine Gael, warning of the danger of a single-party government in the weeks ahead.

Yesterday, Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin warned of Tory-style economics if Fine Gael were allowed to govern alone during an interview with the Sunday Business Post.

The comparison with the UK Conservative Party doesn’t go down well with some in Fine Gael, even if strategists have nicked David Cameron’s ‘long-term economic plan’.

Donohoe insisted to TheJournal.ie today that he is “not at all” concerned by Labour’s attacks and, for the record:

I’m most certainly not a Tory myself. Fine Gael is not the Tory Party here in Ireland.

Of Labour’s increasingly partisan rhetoric, Donohoe is pretty relaxed:

We have served – in incredibly difficult times – well together over the last four-and-a-half years, nearly five years in fact, and it’s entirely understandable, in the run-up to the campaign, that different parties will want to express their own beliefs.

But despite their pre-election differences, Donohoe believes that Fine Gael and Labour represent the best option for voters. He added:

The whole question of how the next government will be formed can best be answered by asking the people to vote for Fine Gael and thereafter for the Labour party.

He also refuses to be drawn on the possibility of needing support from independent TDs including the controversial Tipperary deputy Michael Lowry.

screenshot.1453742311.92313 Source: www.thejournal.ie

With Enda Kenny refusing to rule out a possible post-election deal with Lowry, we asked Donohoe what he thought of the prospect of Lowry being among the independent deputies Fine Gael could have to do business with.

But he wasn’t going there:

You’re asking me to comment on possibilities that I don’t want to see happen.

There’ll be more from our interview with Paschal Donohoe on TheJournal.ie in the coming days

Read This radical left alternative has no leader and different views on Sinn Féin

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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