Like-minded independents stand ready to help form a govt, says Michael Lowry

Like-minded independents stand ready to help form a govt, says Michael Lowry
Like-minded independents stand ready to help form a govt, says Michael Lowry

A group of 12 like-minded independents stand ready to help form a government if they are needed, Independent Tipperary TD Michael Lowry has said.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr Lowry said in his view it looks like they might not be needed, as he expects a ‘Grand Super Coalition’ of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens to be formed.

However, he said should that not materialise a dozen or so independents who have been in discussions are ready to act to form a government.

Mr Lowry said from his point of view it would be supporting a government from opposition and insisted he would not “be coming with a shopping list”.

“That is not how I do my business. I would act to help form a sustainable government from the opposition benches.

There are about 12 independent TDs stand ready to act in the national interest if required. But I don’t see us being needed as things stand.

Various groupings of independents are preparing to “play their part” in upcoming talks to form a government.

In the wake of the Fianna Fáil meeting in Leinster House, it was being suggested that a group of so-called gene-pool independents could be relied upon to form a government or at least facilitate a minority government from the opposition benches.

The 33rd Dáil will have 20 independents among its ranks, including Aontú’s Peadar Tobin who is the party’s sole TD.

The five-TD group of rural TDs have made it clear they will be ready to enter talks about entering government, if called upon.

Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath, speaking to this paper, said his group made up of himself, the two Healy Raes and Cork South-West TD Michael Collins will meet to discuss their options but are open to talks.

He said he has not yet heard from Noel Grealish as to whether he will be aligning himself with the group, but made clear Denis Naughten will not be involved, as he was in 2016, before he broke away and entered government.

“We are ready for the talks and we will talk to whoever,” Mr McGrath said.

The Independents4Change grouping, involving Thomas Pringle and Joan Collins have said it is “incumbent” on deputies on the left to try and put together an administration.

Mr Pringle said his priorities for “change” are housing, health and rural Ireland.

We need to get away from the market-driven response to these issues, which is what Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil did for years.

Former MEP Marian Harkin, elected for Sligo Leitrim, said she is “absolutely” interested in being involved in government.

“I don’t like the phrase kingmaker. After being in the European Parliament for 15 years, it was all about compromise there.”

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