Wednesday 13 December 2017

Fine Gael not looking to other parties for coalition’ – Leo Varadkar

Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar
Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar

Fine Gael has no plans to “make eyes” at other parties to form a coalition, according to Health Minister Leo Varadkar.

His comments come as the latest opinion poll shows the current Coalition is significantly short of the support required to retain power.

Although Fine Gael has remained steady at 28pc since May – and there has been a marginal increase for the Labour party to 8pc – the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll showed that both parties need to gain significant extra support to have a realistic chance of retaining office for a second term.

Varadkar said they were focused on the job at hand and were not looking to plan B for the coming year. 

“What we’re doing is we’re running as a government – Fine Gael and Labour together standing on our record of fixing the economy,” he said.

“It would be inappropriate to be making eyes at alternative coalition partners until the people have made their decision.”

Varadkar was speaking at the Islamic Educational and Cultural Centre in the Coolmine Industrial Estate, Blanchardstown as the local Muslim community prepared for the festival of Eid al Adha, or the festival of sacrifice.

Minister Varadkar said that it was his second visit and met with the Imam and local community in their prayer room in Blanchardstown before they started their formal prayers at 10am.


“Dublin West has become home to people from all over the world, it’s one of the most diverse parts of our city and indeed Ireland,” he said.

Meanwhile, a woman who hit the headlines after challenging presidential candidate Sean Gallagher during the presidential election campaign has been added to the Social Democrats ticket for the General Election.

Glenna Lynch will run in Dublin Bay South where her rivals will include Renua leader Lucinda Creighton.

She and former Fingal Labour councillor Cian O’Callaghan were announced as new candidates. Mr O’Callaghan will contest Dublin Bay North where six sitting TDs, including two ministers, are vying for just five seats.

Ms Lynch, an interior designer, shot to national prominence after questioning Sean Gallagher’s business ethics on live television.

Prior to signing up to the Social Democrats she held discussion with Shane Ross about his alliance of independents and attended his think-in day in Tullamore last March.

Asked why she has now joined the party led by Roisin Shortall, Catherine Murphy and Stephen Donnelly, she said that it’s clear that change will never come from “old, worn out parties”.

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