Old friends

Minister Paschal Donohoe hopes for route back to FG for TDs who left party

Donohoe replaced Lucinda Creighton as Minister of State for EU Affairs.


THE MINISTER OF State who replaced Lucinda Creighton hopes the Fine Gael deputies who left the parliamentary party after voting against the abortion bill will get a chance to return to the party.

Minister of State for European Affairs Paschal Donohoe told that Creighton “was and is a friend” and he would have preferred to have taken his position under different circumstances. “Opportunities sometimes present themselves in a way that you wish was different, ” he said however.

Creighton along with fellow TDs Billy Timmins, Terence Flanagan and Peter Mathews lost the party whip when they voted against Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013, as did party Senators Paul Bradford and Fidelma Healy-Eames.

Donohoe described their decision as a loss to the party but acknowledge that he hoped there would be a pathway for them to return in the future.

When asked about the possible timescale for any possible return of his erstwhile party colleagues, Donohoe said that it would be a matter for both the party leadership and those involved. “That’s a decision for the people who’ve left our party to make,” he said. “It’s a decision for the party leadership to make and I’m not going to comment on what that decision might be and how they would respond to each other.”

Camera and editing: Michelle Hennessy

Read: The politicians formerly known as the Fine Gael rebels are now the Reform Alliance >

Read: Paschal Donohoe ‘conscious of circumstances’ of ministerial appointment >

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