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Greens slam independents' influence

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Green Party members wearing masks of Enda Kenny and Kerry independent Jackie Healy-Rae to highlighting independents' 'stranglehold' on the Dail

Green Party members wearing masks of Enda Kenny and Kerry independent Jackie Healy-Rae to highlighting independents' 'stranglehold' on the Dail

Green Party members wearing masks of Enda Kenny and Kerry independent Jackie Healy-Rae to highlighting independents' 'stranglehold' on the Dail

The leader of the Green Party has lashed out against the influence of independents on Government policy.

John Gormley claimed pandering to the whims of individual TDs was unhealthy for the country.

"We don't need a Government that must constantly look over its shoulder to ensure that independents, with their range of interests, are being 'looked after'," he said.

"The Green Party is the only party contesting this election that has not been tainted by auction politics and bad decision-making over the last 20 years, and which has real experience of making difficult decisions in Government."

The Greens claimed 223 independent candidates have put their names forward to contest the election.

Mr Gormley said: "We don't have to look too far for evidence - we've had ex-Fine Gael Michael Lowry pushing for his Las Vegas-style Casino in Tipperary and we've had Jackie Healy-Rae irresponsibly holding the country to ransom during our economic crisis.

"We were very clear about that dealing with the likes of Michael Lowry. I said to minister Lenihan at the time - there is no way we can entertain a casino. You can't pander to this sort of very, very narrow interest and unhealthy interests. It's just not good for the country."

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The Greens criticised the bloc of independents in the Dail, and the potential for more, as they launched their party election broadcast.

Mr Gormley said if individual TDs held the balance of power it would make it more difficult for the Government to get out of the economic crisis.

"If people want the next government to have a strong mandate for the tough challenges ahead, there would seem to be no benefit from having to pander to a dozen or more independents," he said.


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