Link Walsh’s mate has withdrawn his support for FF. Wonder if Kenny will put pressure on for a General Election now or if he’ll wait till the new year.
Donegal North East TD Jim McDaid has withdrawn his support for the Government after an internal Fianna Fil cumann row.
Ongoing tensions between Dr McDaids camp and that of his Fianna Fil constituency colleague Niall Blaney are understood to be at the centre of the dispute.
The Letterkenny-based TD and a number of his followers walked out of the inaugural meeting of the newly-formed Letterkenny-Milford cumman last night after two supporters of Mr Blaney were appointed to officer roles. The Milford electoral area, where the Blaney support is based, was merged with the Letterkenny area prior to this years local elections.
Mr Blaney took over the Independent Fianna Fil seat held by his father, Harry, and before that by his uncle, Neil T. Blaney. Mr Blaney became a Fianna Fil TD when Independent Fianna Fil and Fianna Fil amalgamated in July 2006, bringing an end to a 35-year rift.
Dr McDaid, who called for an early general election in September, wrote to the party chief whip Pat Carey today to say he may oppose the Government in future Dil votes.
As a result of a farcical inaugural meeting of the Letterkenny-Milford CC last night, I feel compelled to inform you that I have withdrawn my support from Fianna Fil, he wrote in the letter.
My views on a general election are well known. I believe it would be in the interest of Fianna Fil and by extension in the interest of the country. Accordingly, in a voting situation on the negative side one can abstain, be absent or against. I have exercised two of those options in the past and now feel free to exercise the third, if and when I deem it necessary.
It was made clear to me last night that I am superfluous to the requirements of Fianna Fil but I will not stand over the party being decimated either locally or nationally.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen, speaking in Co Monaghan today, said he had not seen the letter from Dr McDaid. I havent seen any letter so I cant comment until I speak to the General Secretary, he said.
A Fianna Fil spokesman said: “It’s an internal party matter which is being dealt with”.
Dr McDaid resigned from the Fianna Fil parliamentary party last year in protest at the Governments withdrawal of its cervical cancer vaccine plan.
Last September, he told The Irish Times an election should be held in February or March of 2010 on the basis that the partys losses then would be more manageable than a total decimation if an election were held at a later stage.
Dr McDaid said the Government was making the very difficult decisions which needed to be done but that the public did not agree with the policies and had no confidence in the Government. He said his concern was that, if Fianna Fil continued in power, its low ratings in opinion polls could drop even further and that the party would be decimated.
Dr McDaids move further reduces the Governments potential voting power in the Dil and leaves it in a precarious position ahead of next weeks Budget which promises to be the toughest in decades.
In August, Sligo Fianna Fil TDs Jimmy Devins and Eamon Scanlon resigned from the Fianna Fil parliamentary party over the closure of the cancer unit at Sligo General Hospital leaving the Government without a majority for the first time since it took office.