John Halligan slams Finian McGrath’s comments as unrepresentative of Alliance

Disabilities Minister Finian McGrath has been left isolated by an Independent Alliance colleague after remarks that have sparked an unprecedented public row and split among the government grouping.

Junior jobs minister John Halligan has slammed some of Mr McGrath’s comments about the alliance and other political matters as “laughable”, “completely untrue” and even “ridiculous”.

Mr McGrath earlier this week called for an Independent to run for the presidency, saying it would be “lazy politics” to allow Michael D Higgins a second term without a contest.

Mr McGrath said the alliance would support a non-party candidate for the October 2018 election.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr Halligan said: “This is completely untrue, it’s not the case... We will support Michael D Higgins. Finian wasn’t speaking on behalf of the alliance. I was surprised. I don’t like anybody speaking on my behalf without my permission.”

Mr McGrath also said Enda Kenny, when Taoiseach, was “arrogant” and that the alliance at times “kill each other”.

Mr Halligan said his contention that the five-member alliance “kill each other sometimes” was “ridiculous”, even “laughable”.


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