Following a number of embarrassing u-turns domestically, the Irish governemt has seen 2 defections from its majority in the past week. An independent TD (Member of Parliament), Finian Mcgrath, who had been supporting the main Fianna Fail party in parliament for over a year withdrew his support in protest at the 2009 national budget which was announced last week. This follows the resignation from governemnt of one of teh Fianna Fail party’s own members Joe Behan.
In a letter to the Prime Minister(Taoiseach), Mr Mcgrath outined his reasons:
Dear Taoiseach Brian,
It is with the greatest regret that I write this letter. At the moment I find myself in a very difficult situation regarding the current Budget as it stands. I have talked to my constituents and listened to my election team and their message is simple, withdraw the Medical Card proposal and stop the Education cuts.
I have waited patiently for this to happen over the last few days. Tinkering around with these issues does not remove the hurt and damage to our senior citizens and children. As someone who comes from the tradition of Tone and Connolly I have to act in the interests of the Elderly, the sick and disabled and the future of our children. In recent months I too have taken difficult decisions in the interests of our country. Some have been very unpopular but I did that in the National interest. I put forward ideas to resolve these issues.
I have also supported the call for more patriotism. However, my patriotism does not include hammering the elderly, the sick, the disabled and young children is large class sizes. There are always other creative ways to fund these matters.
I have no other option but to withdraw my support for the Government. I have reflected on it carefully but I have to take a stand. I will remain an Independent T.D. and will vote on the issues as they arise. I thank you for your cooperation and support over the last year and I wish you and your family well in the future.
Finian McGrath T.D.