By Daniel McConnell
Galway East TD Sean Canney has today resigned as the government’s assistant chief whip, a post which came with a €15,000 salary.
The TD confirmed the news in a statement issued this afternoon on his Facebook page.
Following months of acrimony, Mr Canney resigned as a member of the Independent Alliance last Friday.
While he claimed it was his own decision, other Independent Alliance members have said they were not prepared to see him continue in that role as he had left their group.
Annoucing his resignation, Mr Canney said: “This is my own personal decision. Both decisions have been based on principle, not position.”
The TD said his role as assistant chief whip “has become a distraction from my main priority, which has always been to serve the interests of the people of Galway East”.
“I will continue to support the government on budgetary and confidence issues. It is important that we maintain a stable government, when we have so many pressing matters, nationally and locally,” Canney added.
Mr Canney left the IA after a disagreement over who should serve as the Minister of State for the Office of Public Works – him or Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran.
During talks on forming a government with Fine Gael in 2016, it was decided that the role would alternate between the two TDs. It’s understood that Mr Canney and Mr Moran flipped a coin to decide who would take on the role first.
Mr Canney was appointed to the role for the first year of the minority government and Mr Moran took over a year later.