'I've no issues': Finian McGrath willing to enter government with Sinn Féin or Fianna Fáil

Finian McGrath

Super Junior Minister Finian McGrath says he would be willing to enter government with Sinn Féin or Fianna Fáil after the next general election and hammer out a deal if necessary to get his policies implemented.

He is the only TD to ever secure deals supporting government with four taoisigh, and said any party which agreed to his manifesto would get his support.

A snap general election is now unlikely amid uncertainty over Brexit and the recent renewal of the Confidence and Supply Agreement between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.

Nonetheless, a confirmation by the Disabilities Minister that he is willing to do business with other parties highlights how the outcome of the next election and the formation of the next government is unpredictable.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, the Independent Alliance TD explained: “I'd sit down and talk to anybody. I would do a deal if it is in the interest of my constituents and in the interests of the country.

Any group or party that would implement the issues that are in my manifesto, that I present to the people of Dublin Bay North. If people implement that, I'll sit around the table. I'm able to hammer out a deal.

Asked would this include Fianna Fail or Sinn Fein, he replied: “Yes, I've no issues.”

Mr McGrath points out that he has done deals supporting government in exchange for policy demands with four Taoisigh, including Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen, Enda Kenny and Mr Varadkar.

“I showed the people of Dublin Bay North that I am capable of doing business with four taoisigh. I'm probably the only TD in here that has done a deal with four.”

His openness about supporting any future government without Fine Gael will raise questions about a loyalty to Mr Varadkar.

Leo Varadkar

Nonetheless, the minister is effusive in his description of the Fine Gael leader and relishes working in government: “It is brilliant, it is rock 'n' roll. To be in Cabinet is a fantastic honour. He [Leo Varadkar] is very confident in his own position even though we have differences from time to time.

"The bottom line is he has the ability to work with different people and if I lose a vote at a Cabinet meeting every Tuesday or I win a vote, we don't take it personally. It is business and that is the way we get on with it.”

Asked if Mr Varadkar would be recognised as a great Taoisigh, Mr McGrath added: “He is up there, he is a young person, his intellect is very strong, he is very good, very inclusive, he doesn't feel threatened by a different view.”

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