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state of endapendents

Enda's nine lives: The non-Fine Gael TDs propping up the new government

These are the nine ‘Endapendents’ who backed the Fine Gael leader for Taoiseach today.

IT WAS A case of fourth time lucky this afternoon, as Enda Kenny scraped the ballot for Taoiseach – passing the magic number of 58 by just one vote.

Fine Gael will now lead a minority government, supported by nine independent TDs.

Fianna Fáil, which struck a deal with Kenny’s party last week, will remain in opposition – but will vote against or abstain from any motions of no confidence in the new government, and from any votes on money bills.

Kenny was already confident of support from Michael Lowry and Katherine Zappone heading into today’s vote – they had backed him before.

Seven additional independents threw their weight behind the Fine Gael leader today.

We’ll find out later which of the ‘Endapendents’ will be rewarded with ministerial and junior ministerial positions, when the Dáil reconvenes at 5.30pm.

In the meantime, here’s a rundown of who’s backing Enda for a second term…

Shane Ross 

3/5/2016. General Election Talks Shane Ross

One of the best known names on the list, and de facto leader of the Independent Alliance grouping, which secured six seats in February’s general election.

A long-serving senator before he was elected to the Dáil in 2011, Ross topped the poll in Dublin South as the Fianna Fáil-led government was swept from power. He was the first TD elected to the new Dáil this time around – topping the poll once again in the reconfigured constituency of Dublin Rathdown.

Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran

4/1/2016 Severe Weather Conditions Kevin Boxer Moran Eamonn Farrell Eamonn Farrell

Elected to the Dáil for the first time this year in Longford-Westmeath, Kevin Boxer Moran rose to national prominence over the winter as he led the battle to keep the floodwaters from Athlone, after a series of storms.

An unsuccessful candidate in 2011, his flood-battling efforts (he worked day and night, and was all over TV and radio) were rewarded by voters in the area this time out. Moran was first elected as a Fianna Fáil councillor in 1999 but left the party ahead of the 2011 election.

John Halligan

18/4/2016. General Election Talks John Halligan

Independent Alliance TD for Waterford and occasional poet (really). The former Worker’s Party councillor was elected to the Dáil as a non-party deputy in 2011.

It was touch-and-go in recent days whether Halligan would back Fine Gael in government. His support hinged on a deal on cardiac care for the South East region.

Sean Canney

5/5/2016. General Election Talks Sean Canney (Left) Leah Farrell Leah Farrell

Another Independent Alliance member. The Galway East TD is a former member of Galway County Council and was mayor of Galway between 2007 and 2008.

Denis Naughten 

18/7/2013 Dail Goes On Summer Holidays Denis Naughten Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Formerly one of the stars of Fine Gael, Roscommon’s Denis Naughten was elected to the Dáil for the party in four general elections between 1997 and 2011.

He parted ways with Enda Kenny and co over the last government’s decision to downgrade services at Roscommon Hospital.

Michael Lowry

11/7/2013 Abortion Legislation Voting Takes Place Michael Lowry Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

The former chairman of Fine Gael was Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications between 1994 and 1996. He has contested each election since then as an independent and remains hugely popular in his home constituency of Tipperary.

You may recall there was some controversy during the election campaign as Enda Kenny vacillated on whether or not he would go into government with the independent TD.

Katherine Zappone

29/2/2016. General Election 2016 - Counting of Vot Zappone (right) with her wife Dr. Ann Louise Gilligan, pictured after her election. Eamonn Farrell Eamonn Farrell

Appointed a senator by the Taoiseach in 2011, Zappone claimed the last seat in Dublin South West in February’s election, after a recount.

A prominent Yes campaigner during last May’s same-sex marriage referendum, Zappone lent her support to Enda Kenny during the third vote for Taoiseach in mid-April – becoming the second independent to do so, after Michael Lowry.

Michael Harty

harty1 Michael Harty (left)

A GP based in Clare for over 30 years, Harty ran as part of the ‘No Doctor, No Village’ campaign in this year’s election.

The second of four TDs elected in the constituency of Clare in February, Harty has been lobbying for better State funding of rural doctors.

Finian McGrath

3/5/2016. General Election Talks

A former school principal, McGrath was first elected to the Dáil for Dublin North-Central in 2002. He retained his seat this year in the reconfigured Dublin Bay North constituency (the so-called ‘Group of Death’).

Known for his regular, high energy contributions to Dáil debates, McGrath joined up with Shane Ross’s Independent Alliance ahead of the last election.

Fun fact – he once recorded a version of ‘Bad Bad Leroy Brown’ for a charity Christmas single.

AS IT HAPPENED: Kenny re-elected Taoiseach

Read: Bad news for ‘Boaty McBoatface’ fans, good news for people who like David Attenborough

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