Cowen denies reshuffle pressure from Greens

Tuesday 23 March 2010 09.27
Brian Cowen - No issues with Green Party
Brian Cowen - No issues with Green Party

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said he has no issues with the Green Party which need to be resolved ahead of the Cabinet reshuffle, which is expected to take place this week.

Speaking in Blanchardstown, Mr Cowen said 'there had been no pressure' from the Greens in relation to his decisions but he did have political discussions with them.

The Taoiseach said the decisions regarding the reshuffle would be made this week and would bring focus and alignment to the Government in dealing with the issues.

He said the decisions were a matter for the Taoiseach and were his prerogative.

Meanwhile, Green Party leader John Gormley has declined to comment on the forthcoming Cabinet reshuffle, saying he hoped the Taoiseach would be in a position to end speculation about it tomorrow.

Mr Gormley confirmed that he is in continuing contact with Brian Cowen on the reshuffle but stressed it was the Taoiseach's Constitutional prerogative to decide who is in Cabinet.

He said he would not comment on speculation about an internal Green Party deal on rotation of ministries, saying that would only fuel speculation.

Following further discussions between the Taoiseach and the Mr Gormley, it is now expected that the junior coalition partner will get a second junior ministerial position in the Government reshuffle.

The new Cabinet team is expected to be announced in the Dáil tomorrow afternoon - the new junior ministerial line-up may not be revealed for a day or two after that.

If the Cabinet reshuffle does go ahead tomorrow, the new ministers will receive their seals of office from the Presidential Commission, which carries out the President's functions when she is out of the country.

The Commission is made up of the Chief Justice, the Ceann Comhairle, and the Cathoirleach of the Seanad.