Wicklow TD may no longer back Coalition

 

Support for the Government from the Independent TD for Wicklow, Ms Mildred Fox, has been thrown into doubt pending a meeting tomorrow between her and the Government chief whip, Mr Seamus Brennan.

Ms Fox is understood to have been angered by the special treatment claimed by the Kerry South TD, Mr Jackie Healy-Rae, over regionalisation.

She did not attend the Dail last week, but has indicated that she will meet Mr Brennan at noon tomorrow before Dail business begins.

"I have no reason to believe she won't support the Government," Mr Brennan said yesterday.

However, Ms Fox was reported by Wicklow newspapers to be prepared to withdraw her support from this week unless certain issues in her constituency were dealt with by the Government.

The combined Fianna Fail-Progressive Democrats strength in the Dail is 80 seats, and the minority Government has recently secured the support of a fourth Independent TD, Mr Thomas Gildea, of Donegal South West. The Opposition total is 81.

In addition to Ms Fox, Mr Healy-Rae and Mr Gildea, the Coalition has been supported by the Donegal North East TD, Mr Harry Blaney, who is unable to attend the Dail following surgery. ail and Fine Gael.

Ms Fox had been urged by the Opposition to withdraw her support for the Government two weeks ago and to back a private members' motion calling for additional funding for the mentally disabled.

She supported the Government on that occasion.