A stony silence - Depending on Mr Lowry’s vote

AT least four cabinet members have expressed, with varying vigour, their distaste at the prospect of having to secure the vote of independent TD Michael Lowry to form, and sustain, the next government.

Labour leader Joan Burton and ministers Brendan Howlin and Alan Kelly — a constituency rival of Mr Lowry — have stated unequivocally that they will not support an adminstration reliant on Mr Lowry’s vote.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar addressed the issue but contributed to the mood music around the issue rather than clarify his position. Mr Varadkar said he “wouldn’t like to see us in a position where we have to depend on any independent or small party”. That’s one of those political throwaways that sounds just about right, but actually means nothing.

Mr Varadkar’s cabinet colleagues have not exactly been reaching for the microphones to offer a view on the question either. And all the while Taoiseach Enda Kenny maintains his silence about how he might use the votes entrusted to him and Fine Gael. Maybe he’s preparing a speech about “cleaning up politics”. You really couldn’t make it up.


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