Michael Lowry has dismissed Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s denial of a special understanding with the Independent TD and claimed he has a direct line to the Government.
Mr Lowry, whose support the Government relies on, said he meets the Government chief whip regularly and supports Mr Kenny’s administration to “do what is right” for his Tipperary constituency.
The issue of Mr Lowry’s support for the Fine Gael-led government re-emerged during Dáil questions yesterday.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin referred to Mr Lowry’s recent suggestion of securing agreement for a ‘patient hotel’ in Clonmel.
Mr Martin noted the Tipperary TD was getting “far more” than junior minister John Halligan, whose request for a cardiac lab in Waterford had been denied.
The special arrangement with Mr Lowry “may be to his advantage electorally and politically in the constituency”, said Mr Martin.
Mr Kenny denied there was any special understanding with Mr Lowry, saying he thought Health Minister Simon Harris might have met Mr Lowry and medical personnel.
He said: “There are no understandings with any deputy on the part of Fine Gael or the Government.”
Mr Lowry, when contacted by the Irish Examiner, contradicted Mr Kenny.
“I get the legislative programme direct from the Government whip office. I’m on their system for Dáil votes. I’m meeting the whip on a regular basis,” said Mr Lowry.
“I consider it to be an understanding. I put issues on merit [forward]. As far as I am concerned, there is an understanding... they know the issues of interest to me.”
Asked whether this ‘understanding’ benefits his constituency, he said:
“I made that decision [to support the Government] to do what was right for the constituency and the country.”
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