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A view from inside the government… January 18, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Finian McGrath has broken his somewhat uncharacteristic silence of late, being interviewed in the IT. I was intrigued by the plaudits he received from sources various over the Christmas as a quietly effective Minister. No longer quiet so. Anyhow, he muses on matters various – not least an Independent run for the Presidency.

Independent members of the Dáil and Seanad should facilitate the entry of a strong nonparty candidate into the next presidential election, a member of the Independent Alliance has said.


Minister of Tate Finian McGrath said that while some of his colleagues would like to support current president Michael D Higgins for a second term, he favours a contest.
“I have fantastic time for Michael D and, this is not plamás – I like the guy. He has been an amazing president, but I’d like to see an election and there should be a few candidates and I’d love to see different candidates putting forward different views, and then I’d see who the best person is.”

He’s not wrong when he suggests that:

…it is “lazy politics” to allow Mr Higgins be returned without a contest.

I liked Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson perhaps somewhat less, but two term Presidents, two-terms uncontested in particular, always gets my back up – I can’t quite say why.

Interestingly the math is good for an independent…

A presidential candidate needs the support of 20 members of the Dáil or Seanad to get on the ballot paper.
Given the high number of Independents in the current Oireachtas, with 23 in the current Dáil alone, it is likely that an Independent could enter the next presidential election, if the current Dáil is still in place at the time.

Meanwhile McGrath, predictably, likes his new job…

“I’ve settled into the job, and I would love to serve another term. I will be standing in the next election, and I’ll stand on the work I did over the three or four years or however long this Government lasts. It would be a great honour to stand again and serve.”

And this is fascinating…

“I think politics has changed. I don’t think the bigger parties are going to get the big bloc votes they used to get before. There will always be a role for Independents. I’d love to see more Independents in government.”


McGrath accepts he and other members of his group are perhaps more in line with Fianna Fáil thinking in policy terms, but says Micheál Martin just did not have the numbers to form a minority government.
In that torturous weeks’ long process of government formation, the Alliance and other Independents sat down with Fianna Fáil, and McGrath said he was offered a full Cabinet position. However, the numbers just weren’t there, and he says Fine Gael knew it had to emphasise society as much as the economy if it was to stand any chance of gaining power.

And what of this? Hope over experience or more?

McGrath says the Coalition will now stay in place to implement the three budgets Fianna Fáil has agreed to facilitate in the confidence and supply deal.
“There is a sense even when I was talking to the Fianna Fáil lads and lassies after [the Dáil vote on the rental strategy]. They said: ‘we said we’d give you three budgets and we’ll give you three budgets.’ In fairness to them, they have that mantra.”


1. dublinstreams - January 18, 2017

and who would that Presidential candidate be Mr McGrath?

will this disability ratification actually happen, its be soon, soon for years


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