Differences in Healy-Rae camp over FG support

Danny says FG-FF deal a ‘cynical move’ while Michael says no appetite for another election.

Michael and Danny Healy-Rae: different stances on support for a minority Fine Gael government. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Michael and Danny Healy-Rae: different stances on support for a minority Fine Gael government. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

The Healy-Rae brothers are taking different stances on support for a minority Fine Gael government.

Newly-elected TD, Danny Healy-Rae says he will not be supporting Enda Kenny and says no independent TD should support a Fine Gael government. However his younger brother Michael, a TD for his second term, says the independents are going to have to support the minority government - “or it’s going to be an election.”

Michael, who achieved the highest vote in the country, adding that he is not mentally, physically, or financially able for another campaign so soon.

But Danny believes looking for independents to support is minority government is a cynical move by the bigger parties.

Come the next election it is the independents who will be the scapegoats - and Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael know the only way they can get stronger at the next election is to do down the independents, Danny says.

“I feel strongly no independent should support Enda Kenny and Fine Gael. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have the numbers between them,” Danny said.

In Kerry, the Government lost two TDs, and a lot of people will be “ very upset and angry “ about allowing Fine Gael back into government, he said.

He said he could not cannot forgive Enda Kenny and Fine Gael for what they did to rural Ireland in terms of health, broadband, garda numbers, infrastructure, and every other area.

The independents who offer support will be blamed for anything that goes wrong and all independents will then be “tainted” come the next election, Danny firmly believes.

Danny says Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil should treat the independents with more respect out of respect for the people who voted for them.

“Why do they need the independents at all - we are only the butter in the sandwich, we are not even the meat and come the next election all independents will be tainted,” Danny said.

However Michael Healy-Rae says the reality is there is no prospect of a coalition between the two parties.

If the two parties were “coalescing” it would be different, he says, - but they are not and independents are needed to form a government.

“It’s fine to say no independent should vote for Fine Gael -but the only alternative then is an election.”

“People are not calling for an election,” Michael said.

“I don’t want an election, and people don’t want an election.”

Michael - who it is understood is being earmarked by Enda Kenny for the job of Minister for Rural Affairs which is a department Michael suggested first - says there is no bitterness between the brothers in the difference of opinion - and points out that the Healy-Raes (they now number two county councillors as well as two TDs) have taken different positions in the past, without rancour.

Danny and Danny’s son Johnny Healy-Rae took different positions on the marriage equality referendum while both were on Kerry County Council.