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Tuesday 3 October 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland Noel Grealish
# Switch-up
Is Galway West TD Noel Grealish joining Fianna Fáil?
The independent TD declined to comment when asked if he was interested in joining the party which itself has denied it has approached the former Progressive Democrat deputy.

FIANNA FÁIL HAS denied that senior figures in the party have approached the former Progressive Democrat and current independent TD Noel Grealish about joining the its ranks.

However, Grealish himself said he would be making no comment when specifically asked this week if he was interested in joining the country’s main opposition party.

Talk of the former PD joining Fianna Fáil arose out of a recent report in The Connacht Tribune that senior figures within Fianna Fáil were to approach Grealish in the hope that he would join the party.

But a party spokesperson said this week: “While we are currently welcoming membership applications from across the country, there is no truth whatsoever in media reports suggesting that independent TD Noel Grealish has been asked by ‘senior figures’ to join the Fianna Fáil party.”

When contacted by, Grealish described talk of him joining Fianna Fail as “pure speculation” and said “no” when asked if he had been approached by the party.

But when asked if he would be interested in joining Fianna Fáil he added: “I am making absolutely no comment whatsoever on that. I am elected as an independent and I am working as an independent.”

Previous FF talks

Grealish was first elected in Galway West in 2002, replacing the long-serving Bobby Molloy, and was one of only two Progressive Democrats who was returned at the 2007 general election along with former health minister Mary Harney.

Towards the end of that year he admitted to having had discussions with Fianna Fáil about the possibility of joining the party but he subsequently decided to stay with the PDs becoming the party leader in March 2009 until it disbanded in November of that same year.

As an independent he supported the Fianna Fáil-Green government until September 2010 when he withdrew his support over health cuts.

Running as an independent in 2011 he came fourth in a five-seat constituency with 10 per cent of first preference votes. Grealish is among only three independents in the Dáil who is not in the Technical Group.

A Fianna Fáil spokesperson added: “Our organisation in Galway West is one of the most energetic and fastest growing in the country and it will be working hard, along with its colleague organisations across the country, to increase its electoral presence at both local and national levels through strong local community activity and effective representation with candidates drawn from the local organisation.”

Video: ‘I’m not ruling anything out’ – Micheál Martin on Fine Gael or Sinn Féin coalition

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