My Negotiations With Largest Parties Will Continue Today – McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has confirmed that he has met with the leader of Fianna Fail Micheal Martin ahead of the resumption of the Dáil tomorrow. Deputy McGrath went on to say that he is in the process of finalising a similar meeting for today with Taoiseach Enda Kenny:

“My discussions with Micheal Martin were substantial, intense and to the point. I clearly outlined to him over the course of a number of hours what I believe are the central issues that must be addressed by whatever government finally emerges from this process.

I made it explicitly clear that urgent action is needed on the mortgage arrears and social housing crisis; particularly the reform of the voluntary housing sector which is being paralysed by absurd inefficiencies within the Department of the Environment.

I also made it clear that the issue of wholesale reform of the health service must be on the table. While I would favour the abolition of the HSE, Deputy Martin did not seem to think that would be feasible in the immediate future.

I also spoke about how the Mental Health budget must be categorically ring fenced as part of the next budgetary process. We simply cannot go forward with the whole area of mental health being consistently singled out for the clawing back of vital funding.

The issue of substantial reform of the courts was also dealt with. At the moment we have a completely two-tier justice system that alienates ordinary people and locks them out of adequate access to legal representation.

That must end particularly with respect to those families trying to argue their case about evictions or repossessions.

All of these matters which are founded on my core principle of fairness will be brought to the negotiations with Enda Kenny and the Fine Gael Party.

Failure to offer meaningful reforms on any of those issues will mean a complete inability on my part to offer any kind of political support,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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