The Healy-Rae brothers are split on their support for a minority Fine Gael Government.
Newly elected TD Danny Healy-Rae says he will not be supporting Enda Kenny and says no Independent TD should support a Fine Gael Government.
However, his younger brother Michael, a TD for his second term, says the Independents are going to have to support a minority government “or it’s going to be an election”.
Michael, who achieved the highest vote in the country, adding that he is not mentally, physically, or financially able for another campaign so soon.
However, Danny believes looking for Independents to support a minority Government is a cynical move by the bigger parties.
He said that, come the next election, it is the Independents who will be the scapegoats, and that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael know the only way they can get stronger at the next election is to do down the Independents.
“I feel strongly no Independent should support Enda Kenny and Fine Gael,” Danny said.
In Kerry, the Government lost two TDs, and a lot of people will be “very upset and angry” about allowing Fine Gael back into Government, he believes.
Danny said he cannot forgive Enda Kenny and Fine Gael for what they did to rural Ireland in terms of health, broadband, garda numbers, infrastructure, and every other area.
The Independents who offer support will be blamed for anything that goes wrong and all independents will then be “tainted” come the next election, he added.
And he says Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil should treat the Independents with more respect out of respect for the people who voted for them.
“Why do they need the Independents at all — we are only the butter in the sandwich, we are not even the meat, and come the next election all Independents will be tainted,” Danny said.
However, Michael Healy-Rae says there is no prospect of a coalition between the two parties.
If the two parties were “coalescing” it would be different, he says, but independents are needed to form a government.
“It’s fine to say no Independent should vote for Fine Gael — but the only alternative then is an election,” he said. “People are not calling for an election. I don’t want an election, and people don’t want an election.”
Michael — who it is understood is being earmarked by Rural Affairs — said there is no bitterness between the brothers in the difference of opinion.
He said members of the Healy-Rae family have taken different positions in the past, without rancour.
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