INDEPENDENT TDs have been offered constituency deals similar to arrangements between Fianna Fáil and the former Kerry Independent deputy Jackie Healy-Rae in the late 90s and 2000s.
he offer was tabled by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan during talks with Independent deputies Marian Harkin, Michael Fitzmaurice and Michael McNamara at Government Buildings on Wednesday.
Constituency deals similar to those Fianna Fáil struck with Independents like the late Jackie Healy-Rae and Mildred Fox, a former Independent TD for Wicklow, in the late 90s were more likely than the offer of government ministries, the meeting was told.
This would involve TDs getting deals for their constituencies, including funding for certain local projects, and access to ministers in return for supporting the government in Dáil votes.
Afterwards, Mr McNamara said: “Their clear priority is agreeing a programme for government that is acceptable to their memberships, that is understandable. I think Independents will feature but in a relatively low-key way. Ministries were not discussed by either side.”
The tripartite talks are continuing amid expectation that a deal on a draft programme for government will be reached next week.
The parties continue to be at odds over when to start cutting the deficit and how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7pc per annum with the Greens insisting there will have to be a reduction in the national herd.
The Independent TDs were told they would not have the same level of input into the programme for government as those who were involved in the 2016 negotiations which led to the Fine Gael-Independent minority government.
Source: Irish News