Fine Gael dissidents meet to plan Dáil and Seanad strategy

A further full-day meeting involving all eight will be held before the Dáil resumes

Peter Mathew: has indicated his willingness to be involved in the group. Photograph: David Sleator

Peter Mathew: has indicated his willingness to be involved in the group. Photograph: David Sleator

Mon, Aug 26, 2013, 22:36


The group of Fine Gael TDs and Senators expelled from the parliamentary party met yesterday for the second time to discuss how they can co-ordinate as a group in the Dáil and Seanad.

Six of the eight parliamentarians who have lost the party whip met to discuss their options on working together as a group. It is the second such meeting held by them since the Dáil broke for the summer, the other was held in late July.

A further full-day meeting involving all eight will be held before the Dáil resumes, where they intend to discuss policy proposals and tactics for the forthcoming session.

The six who were present were: Lucinda Creighton, Billy Timmins, Terence Flanagan, Denis Naughten, Senator Paul Bradford and Senator Fidelma Healy Eames.

Two TDs missing were Peter Mathews, who is abroad on holiday, and Brian Walsh, who had a constituency meeting and was unable to attend. However, both have indicated their willingness to be involved with the group.

The group’s spokesman, Mr Bradford, said it had an initial discussion about the forthcoming political session. He said it had agreed to hold a full day’s meeting on policy and tactical orientation before the Dáil and Seanad resume on September 18th.

The continuation of discussions by the group gives a strong indication that few of them expect to be invited back into the party in the near future.

Some have said privately that they expect Taoiseach Enda Kenny to stand by his statement that anybody voting against the Government on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill would not be allowed a place on the Fine Gael ticket at the time of the next general election.

It is also a signal that TDs and Senators may vote against the Government on key votes in both houses.