Labour leadership front-runner Alan Kelly has told new Disability Minister Finian McGrath to resign his cabinet position if he refuses to pay his water charges.
The opposition party’s deputy leader issued the stark choice to the Independent Alliance TD as new Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone said there will be “consequences” for any cabinet member who breaks the law.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner after Joan Burton resigned as Labour leader, Mr Kelly said Taoiseach Enda Kenny cannot cling to power with the help of people who openly flout his own policies.
“I find it incredible we have a minister who is sitting at cabinet saying it’s okay to pick and choose what laws you obey,” Mr Kelly said.
“He [Finian McGrath] needs to consider his new position otherwise he’s going to find himself one of the shortest ministers in the history of the government.
“It’s complete hypocrisy. These people are well paid.
“This is a rock on which politicians will perish. If Fine Gael are going to sit at a table with people who are not going to obey the law, well then this government will be even more short-lived than I thought.”
Former Labour TD and newly elected senator Kevin Humphreys similarly said yesterday “Finian should resign” and that his fellow Independent Alliance TD John Halligan, who is predicted to become a junior minister, “shouldn’t be a minister in this Republic” if he refuses to pay charges.
Meanwhile, while stopping short of condemning her cabinet colleague, Children’s Minister and unaligned Independent TD Katherine Zappone said there will be “consequences” for ministers who ignore the law.
Despite joining forces with Fine Gael, Mr McGrath and Mr Halligan have both said they will not pay the water charge.
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