Fine Gael ‘trying to renege on former promises’

Fine Gael has been accused of trying to renege on previous commitments given to the Independent Alliance on health and in particular Waterford Hospital in meetings at Government Buildings yesterday.

There have been “frank” discussions between the alliance and Fine Gael ministers over cardiac services at the hospital.

“They were trying to move back from where they were before,” said one source.

Waterford TD John Halligan’s commitment to the deal hangs on getting a commitment for improved services at the hospital.

Fine Gael ‘trying to renege on former promises’

The attitude of Health Minister Leo Varadkar was once again a bone of contention to some alliance members, sources have said.

“Leo is Leo. He is not always the easiest man to deal with and he certainly doesn’t have the manner that some of the others do,” said the source.

Divisions over the health crisis, political reform, rail links, state appointments, and agriculture still threaten to derail talks between the Independent Alliance and Fine Gael about forming a Government.

Talks ended last night without agreement with a “number of roadblocks” remaining.

Fine Gael ‘trying to renege on former promises’

Roscommon TD Michael Fitzmaurice said some stumbling blocks in relation to agriculture and rural affairs still remain.

“We have put proposals to them so we are awaiting word back,” he said.

Dublin Rathdown TD Shane Ross and Longford TD Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran said the issue of mortgage arrears consumed much of the time yesterday.

“We are working to find a solution to consider what is on the table. We will not be pushed or railroaded into a deadline. But we are inclined to take this very seriously but not to say Thursday’s a deadline,” Mr Ross said.

Talks between the alliance and Fine Gael are due to reconvene this morning at 10am before meetings of the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meetings.

Fine Gael ‘trying to renege on former promises’

Meanwhile, there is increased pressure on Enda Kenny to secure as many Independent TDs as possible as the Labour Party now looks set to vote against him in the Dáil. The party will meet before the Dáil vote for Taoiseach will be taken, but given the water deal, there is considerable anger within the party.

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