McGrath views himself as independent minded

Monday 05 July 2010 15.07
Mattie McGrath - Expressed dissatisfaction with Noel Dempsey
Mattie McGrath - Expressed dissatisfaction with Noel Dempsey

The Fianna Fáil TD who lost the party whip during the week, after failing to support the Government in a vote to ban stag hunting, has said he would not be silenced by anybody.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio, where he was asked whether he saw his political future outside the party, Mattie McGrath said he sees himself as independent minded.

Mr McGrath said until now he was seen as a party man, but the events of last week were the final straw that broke the camel's back, he claimed.

Mr McGrath said he had been a life-long member of Fianna Fáil and stood for all the values the party espouses.

But he said there has to be a point where we say enough is enough.

He said his constituents in South Tipperary were saying to him that the Government agenda was being driven by a party that received 2% of the vote in that constituency in the last election.

Mr McGrath also expressed his dissatisfaction with the approach of Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey particularly his handling of the introduction of electronic voting and the decision by Aer Lingus to end its Shannon to Heathrow route.

Mr McGrath also said he had asked Taoiseach Brian Cowen to come out and communicate more clearly and more often with the people.

Dog Breeding Bill

Mr McGrath said he would not support the Dog Breeding Bill when it comes to a vote next week.

He said the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, had made a ‘dog's dinner’ out of the Bill and there was insufficient consultation.

He said he had had enough and could not trust Minister Gormley when he talked about amendments to the planned legislation.

Mr McGrath said there was nothing the Minister could do for him to make him change his mind.

However, Mr Gormley said he does not understand why the Fianna Fail TD was so obsessed with a relatively minor piece of legislation.

Minister Gormley said he had tried to be reasonable and fair in addressing all of the issues, and in listening to all of the stakeholders.

He said he felt he had developed a package which was finding agreement among most reasonable people.