Grealish to meet Taoiseach today

Tue, Dec 8, 2009, 00:00

GOVERNMENT CHIEF whip Pat Carey has confirmed former Progressive Democrat TD Noel Grealish will meet the Taoiseach this evening, while Kerry South TD Jackie Healy-Rae will meet Government representatives today.

Mr Carey expressed confidence that Independents – including Michael Lowry in Tipperary North, who had traditionally voted with the Government – would back the budget tomorrow.

“I’m working hard to ensure those Independent deputies who have been very loyal in supporting the Government over the last number of years will continue to support it,” Mr Carey said.

It is expected the budget will be supported by the three Fianna Fáil backbenchers without the party whip: Dr Jimmy Devins, Eamon Scanlon and Dr Jim McDaid.

Mr Carey said there was no arrangement with Wicklow TD Joe Behan, who was not available for comment last night. Mr Behan resigned from Fianna Fáil in October 2008.

Dublin Central Independent deputy Maureen O’Sullivan has voted with the Government occasionally. Yesterday Mr Carey said there was no arrangement with Ms O’Sullivan and she confirmed no contact had been made.