Cathaoirleach hits out at Fine Gael over TV3 snub

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Cllr Mark Casey.
Independent representative, Cllr Mark Casey, has slammed the decision of Fine Gael to withdraw from debates organised by TV3’s Tonight with Vincent Browne programme.

Independent representative, Cllr Mark Casey, has slammed the decision of Fine Gael to withdraw from debates organised by TV3’s Tonight with Vincent Browne programme.

Speaking to the Leader Cllr Casey said: “By withdrawing from these debates, Fine Gael are robbing the people of Longford/Westmeath the chance to hold this failed Government to account.”

“The gap between ordinary people and this Government is clearer by the day,” he said.

Cllr Casey said recent controversies surrounding overcrowding problems in Irish hospitals and the introduction of water charges were very much indicative of this.

“Between crises over health, the mishandling of Irish Water, and a Budget that deepened inequality, this government has entirely ignored their election promises they were elected on and proven they are incapable of enacting badly needed reforms.”

TV3 are in the process of organising a series of constituency debates in the lead up to the next general election, the first of which is to be pre-recorded in Wicklow this evening (Friday).

However, Fine Gael last night decided to pull out in a row which is believed to centre on concerns over schedules, running orders and debate participants.

The Lanesboro based representative said the decision taken by party bosses was further evidence of the widening vacuum between the country’s largest party and an increasingly frustrated electorate.

“There is a complete lack of vision, enthusiasm and understanding of the long-term investment required in areas such as water, public transport, health and agriculture on the part of the Government parties,” he said.

“By continuing to hole up in Government Buildings and hiding from the people it is clear that neither party has a plan worth putting before the people of Longford/Westmeath.”