Mattie McGrath denies submitting list of pet projects

Rural Alliance held talks with Fine Gael about support for a minority government

 Independent TD  Mattie McGrath. Photograph: Collins Photo Agency

Independent TD Mattie McGrath. Photograph: Collins Photo Agency


Independent TD Mattie McGrath has insisted he and his colleagues in the Rural Alliance did not submit a list of ‘pet projects’ as part of their discussions with Fine Gael .

“We want a stable government with change to reflect the view of what the electorate voted fo,” Mr McGrath said on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“They voted for a certain style of government, they didn’t trust the major parties. They want to see a fairness in this government, a move away from permanent government. Permanent government had free rein.

“The Taoiseach promised radical reform of public service. It’s time for that.”

Mr McGrath said he had been very serious about participating in the talks with Fine Gael, but that he and his colleagues had stepped back this week as the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael talks continued.

“We haven’t had talks with Fine Gael this week - it is up to them to call us. We are standing back until such time as Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael agree a road map.”

He said he was surprised by Independent TD Katherine Zappone’s comments on assurances she had received from Fine Gael on repeal of the Eighth Amendment on abortion.

“We had concerns about repealing the Eighth, it is a major issue for all of us, Fine Gael knows that,” he said.

“Maybe Fine Gael has decided they don’t need us. There are other more pressing issues that need to be urgently addressed - housing, jobs, education. I wonder why this would have to be top of the agenda?”