Clare Daly denies exit from Socialist Party linked to Mick Wallace

Monday 03 September 2012 11.21
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Clare Daly resigned from the Socialist Party on Friday
Clare Daly resigned from the Socialist Party on Friday
Joe Higgins said the Socialist Party was 'moving on'
Joe Higgins said the Socialist Party was 'moving on'

Former Socialist Party TD Clare Daly has described as "absolute nonsense" suggestions that her decision to resign from the party was because of her connection to the Independent TD Mick Wallace.

The Dublin North TD, who stepped down from the party on Friday, was speaking on RTÉ's This Week programme.

Ms Daly said she had fully supported the party’s position when it emerged that Mr Wallace had underpaid VAT and that she had called for him to repay the money.

She said she had not called for his resignation because the Socialist Party had not done so.

The Socialist Party said it deeply regrets Ms Daly’s decision to resign and said that it was profoundly disappointed at recent events.

Party leader Joe Higgins said the party objected to Ms Daly’s public political support for Mr Wallace.

Mr Higgins said her resignation was very unfortunate but the party was moving on.

He also said that the issue would not deflect from its campaigning work as the Budget approaches.

Ms Daly earlier described the reaction to her resignation as akin to "an acrimonious divorce where the hurt party lashes out".

She said the reason she had decided to step back from the party was clear and it was to do with the cuts in Government spending that were going to affect ordinary people.

The TD said she had been disappointed with the lack of development of the United Left Alliance since the last election and she would be prioritising that now.

Allowance

Ms Daly also confirmed that she would be asking for part of the leader’s allowance given to the Socialist Party to be allocated to her in the interest of fairness.

She said the party would continue to be given over €70,000 on her behalf, which she said was entirely unrealistic given that they only have one Dáil TD now.

She said she would use the money in employing some extra staff and developing a broad left alternative.

However, Mr Higgins said he would not be donating half of the allowance to Ms Daly.

He said he would be asking the Department of Finance to only pay the party the amount of allowance it is entitled to and to return the difference to the Exchequer.

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