We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Leah Farrell
Back in the fold

Fianna Fáil hears proposal for Marc MacSharry to rejoin the parliamentary party

A proposal was brought by TD Barry Cowen to have MacSharry reinstated in the party.

THERE WERE CALLS at the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party this evening to have Marc MacSharry rejoin. 

The Sligo-Leitrim TD resigned the party whip last year amidst controversy that surrounded Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney at the time. 

Coveney was facing a no confidence motion being tabled by Sinn Féin over his handling over the nomination of Katherine Zappone to a UN role. 

McSharry had voiced concerns about his party’s position to enforce a whipped vote in supporting the government minister and as a result, resigned from the parliamentary party. 

The TD attended the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis last weekend and spoke about returning to the fold as soon as possible. 

Several Fianna Fáil sources confirmed a proposal was brought by TD Barry Cowen to have MacSharry reinstated in the party and was seconded by Senator Diarmuid Wilson.

However, there was confusion over the internal rule book and how someone can be reinstated, it is understood.  

The Taoiseach is understood to have told his party colleagues that there is a “process” in which someone who resigned the party whip can return, with party sources stating the Taoiseach believes MacSharry must reapply. 

It is believed the Taoiseach said he would speak with MacSharry and will ask him to submit a request to rejoin the parliamentary party.

One source said there was “plenty of drama” and “shouting” from the TDs and senators when the proposal was put down, with several sources stating that the party, as well as the Taoiseach, were not against the proposal.

Another said the issue tonight was “dancing on a pinhead”, as there appears to be confusion as to whether someone who resigned the party whip must apply, while those that vote against the party whip can be readmitted by a seconded proposal. 

Concerns were also raised at the meeting about the concrete levy. A number of backbenchers have already publicly voiced their reservations about the new measure, however, the Taoiseach maintained this week that industry or the taxpayer will have to foot the bill. 

Martin said the issues identified can be assessed in the context of the Finance bill where the detail is being worked out.

A group within the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party have proposed to coordinate with Ministers Michael McGrath and Darragh O’ Brien on the matter.

The group, which will be chaired by TD John Lahart will meet next week to discuss suggestions and feedback on the concrete block levy. 

The concrete block levy was also raised at the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting, with Leo Varadkar telling members that the exact details would be worked out by the time the Finance Bill comes before the Dáil on 20 October.

Varadkar said the levy should be the onus of the construction industry and not the average taxpayer.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel