herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

'I've no ambition to be Taoiseach' - Donohoe

Minister Donohoe said he won’t enter contest to be FG leader
Minister Donohoe said he won’t enter contest to be FG leader
Enda Kenny

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has categorically ruled himself out of the race to succeed Enda Kenny as Taoiseach.

Mr Donohoe said that even if a leadership contest takes place after the General Election, he will not be putting his name forward.

This is despite calls from a number of Fine Gael politicians, including Sports Minister Michael Ring, for Mr Donohoe to seriously consider a leadership bid after Mr Kenny steps down.

Speaking to the Herald, Mr Donohoe said he was encouraged by the support from his junior minister but he will not enter the contest to succeed Mr Kenny.

"Michael is a fantastic colleague and has been a partner in much of what I have achieved in my time in government," Mr Donohoe said.

"The only thing on my mind is getting re-elected. If the Taoiseach was to decide to step down as leader of Fine Gael in the future, I will not be one of those people putting his name forward," he added.

Stance

Meanwhile, Mr Donohoe appeared to shift his stance somewhat on the issue of terminations in the issue of fatal foetal abnormalities.

In a previous statement, Mr Donohoe said he welcomed the establishment of a citizens' convention to discuss the various sensitive issues surrounding abortion.

But pressed on the issue again, the minister said he wants to see "more support" provided to couples whose child will be born with a fatal foetal abnormality.

"We have had discussions within our party and within Government in relation to it, that for me the matter of fatal foetal abnormalities is something I do want to see examined.

"I want to see if we can find a better way of offering support for families who are dealing with this, than is currently the case at the moment," Mr Donohoe said.

"I've said that I believe the matter of fatal foetal abnormalities and how that is dealt with, is something that I want to see examined in the lifetime of the next Dail."

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