By Daniel McConnell and Elaine Loughlin
Former Minister and Independent TD Michael Lowry has hit out at comments from Health Minister Leo Varadkar who said he has “issues with the law,” saying Mr Varadkar should desist from such commentary having made “a mess” of the health service.
Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin echoed his Labour colleague Alan Kelly’s stance saying the party would not rely on Mr Lowry’s support to form a Government.
Mr Lowry said
The former minister said Mr Kelly’s decision to “categorically” rule him out of the next government “smacks of his customary arrogance”.
Mr Lowry said he has refused to have discussions with anyone before the election, as to do so would be presumptuous and arrogant.
“This Government have so many broken promises, they should ask themselves why has that majority evaporated and why are they not certain of having a majority,” Mr Lowry said.
Mr Lowry launched a stinging attack on the Labour Party deputy leader today, adding he has “jumped on the bandwagon”.
"In relation to Alan Kelly, I’d just say that his comments smack of his customary arrogance. Effectively what he’s trying to do is circumvent the will of the Tipperary people,” Mr Lowry said on Tipp FM and on Newstalk radio.
"The bottom line is that thankfully we have a democracy, elections are due, and elections are about the people have their say and electing their representatives,” he said.
Mr Lowry said that only the people will decide who is elected, not the media or political pundits.
“It’s not the media, it’s not the political pundits. It’s not threats and innuendo from Alan Kelly that will make the decision, it’s the people who will make the decision known,” he said.
He also criticised comments from Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin this morning. Mr Martin said it was okay for Fianna Fáil to accept his support before the Moriarty Tribunal made adverse findings against him.
Fianna Fáil has ruled out doing business again with Mr Lowry.
Speaking this morning party leader Michéal Martin said the findings of the Moriarty Tribunal relating to Mr Lowry are “something that all political parties cannot fudge".
He said: “You can’t dodge those. They are very real and significant conclusions by the judge.”
“The bottom line is that we would not be doing business.”
“I am surprised at Micheal’s comments, as the Tribunal was sitting week after week, and he was more than happy of my support then. In fact, they damn right needed it,” Mr Lowry said.
Since last weekend, Fine Gael and Labour ministers have been dogged by questions about Mr Lowry.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton have both attempted to dodge the question, but Mr Kelly took a different stance.
Mr Kelly said: “Just to be categorical on it, the Labour Party would never work with or ask for the support of anyone like Michael Lowry.”
The Moriarty Report found that Mr Lowry conferred benefit on businessmen Denis O’Brien, who made or facilitated payments to the former Communications Minister. There were no findings that Mr Lowry benefited from payments and Mr Lowry has rejected the findings.