Fine Gael

  • Alan Dillon has been elected as the secretary of the Fine Gael parliamentary party.

    The Mayo TD was named secretary, following the AGM of the parliamentary party yesterday evening.

    Former Government Minister Richard Bruton was elected chairperson.


  • Almost 300 jobs were created in Mayo last year by Enterprise Ireland. The government agency responsible for supporting Irish businesses in the manufacturing and internationally traded services supported more than 18,000 new jobs nationally last year.

    According to Mayo Fine Gael Dail candidate Alan Dillon, Mayo has seen a 7% increase in Enterprise Ireland supported jobs last year over 2017, and across the western region there are now 14,500 people employed in Enterprise Ireland backed companies.

    Almost two thirds of total employment by Enterprise Ireland backed companies is now outside of Dublin.

    Enterprise Ireland is at present working on a one-to-one basis with its exporting clients on Brexit contingency plans. In 2018, the agency approved funding of €74m for 535 of its most Brexit-exposed clients.

    Alan told Midwest News today about the variety of companies in the county that are supported by Enterprise Ireland.

  • Residents of Abbeytown and Abbeyview estates in Crossmolina have raised concerns about the state of repair of the footpaths in the area. That’s according to Ballina Fine Gael candidate in the local elections Kieran Gill.

    Mr Gill says the footpaths in the estates have never been repaired since the estate was built in the early 1980s and the paths in the Abbeyview section of the estate are in particularly precarious s condition.

     One section , he says, has a raised manhole cover of approximately 5 cm above ground level as the path around it has fallen. Also some elderly people have taken to walking on the road in places where the path is particularly bad.

    The Residents Association has been raising their concerns for years now with Mayo County Council but to date, he says have failed to get a response.

    Mr Gill says the situation is not acceptable and he has now raised the matter with Senator Michelle Mulherin  in an effort to have it resolved.

  • Mayo county councillor Patsy O’Brien is running as an Independent in the upcoming Seanad Election.

    In a short statement from the Fine Gael press office today it states that councillor O’Brien has been “suspended from the party pending an investigation by the party into an allegation made against him”. As a consequence, it concludes it has “not ratified Councillor O’Brien as a candidate to contest the Seanad elections”.

    In a brief statement to Midwest News today, councillor O’Brien has confirmed that he has been suspended from the party and adds that he will be cooperating with “Fine Gael and all concerned to have the matter resolved” and in the interim says he will contest the forthcoming Seanad election as an independent candidate

  • Political party leaders will be briefed on the response to the Coronavirus this afternoon.

    It comes as Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are due to finalise a document setting out how a coalition between the two will work.

    That's likely to be finalised tomorrow and go to smaller parties over the weekend to consider.

    Both parties are looking for a third group to come on board in order to bring stability to any coalition deal.

  • A Fine Gael Councillor has called for the public lighting at a new housing estate in Parke to temper down the strength.

    Ger Deere says the new state of the art social housing is very welcome but the public lighting installed is so strong that it’s interfering with the residents on the opposite side of the road.

    Cllr. Deere says he has made representation to get this situation rectified.

  •  Mayo Councillor Patsy O'Brien is to challenge the decision by Fine Gael to expel him from the party.

    The Robeen-based Councillor was suspended from FG in March pending an investigation into allegations against him.

    Midwest News revealed yesterday evening that, following the completion of the disciplinary process, Mr O'Brien has now been expelled from membership of the party.

    In a statement today, Councillor O'Brien has expressed his disappointment at the decision by Fine Gael headquarters to revoke his membership, and will be challenging the decision.

    He says he will not be leaving politics, it's "business as usual" and he will continue to represent the people of the Claremorris Municipal District.

    Councillor O'Brien is making no further comment at present.


  • New planning regulations will deter developers from building new houses, at a time when the housing list in Mayo is growing.

    That's according to Castlebar-based FG Councillor Cyril Burke, who says developers need to be encouraged to build new homes in the county, but claims it's not viable in many cases due to regulations.

    Councillor Burke gives the example of where 30% of a new housing development must be detached properties - and says this will result in houses being too costly.


    It’s “petulant and immature” of both Fanna Fail and Fine Gael not to at least talk to Sinn Fein about government formation. That’s the view of the new Sinn Fein deputy in Mayo, Rose Conway Walsh.

    She is among the 47 new TDs nationally entering the Dail for the first time today.

    Deputy Conway Walsh spoke to Midwest News today before entering the Dail  and she described as historic her party leader being proposed as Taoiseach today during Dail proceedings, regardless of the outcome.

  • There's some good news for residents of the Childers Heights estate in Ballina, as drainage works will start tomorrow to relieve flooding problems in the area.

    That's according to FG Councillor John O''Hara who says there are ongoing flooding problems in the area, which have impacted in the past on a local playschool, as well as residents.

    Councillor O'Hara says funding was allocated for the scheme earlier this year, and work will start next week


    Minister of State Damien English will travel to Sligo this evening to chair the Fine Gael selection convention for the Sligo / Leitrim constituency.

    There are 8 candidates seeking nomination to contest the next general election for FG.

    Former Junior Minister John Perry will be hoping to re-enter national politics.

    He's joined on the ticket by Roscommon-based Senator and former TD Frank Feighan and former Sligo / Leitrim TD and Senator Gerry Reynolds.

    Also seeking a nomination are Noel Merrick from Riverstown, Sligo - Chairman of the Fine Gael Constituency Executive in the constituency,

    Sligo FG Councillors Sinead Maguire and Hubert Keaney, former Leitrim-based Senator Michael Comiskey and Blaine Gaffney - parliamentary assistant to Deputy Tony McLoughlin who's not seeking re-election.

    The selection convention will take place this evening at the Clayton Hotel in Sligo.


  • Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin will meet today to discuss options for forming the next government.

    It may be the first step towards a grand coalition between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.

    The Taoiseach has said that this is just an exploratory meeting, and that he'll discuss it with his party if there's a basis for further talks.

    Thomas Byrne - Fianna Fáil's Education Spokesperson - says there's no guarantee today's meeting will be a success:

    Many in Leinster House think the only realistic option to form the next government will be a deal between Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin, propped up by the Greens and maybe some other smaller parties.

    Elsewhere Sinn Féin and the Green Party will start serious policy talks on a number of issues today as Mary Lou McDonald continues her efforts to form a left wing alternative government.

  • Taoiseach Leo Varadker has given the opening address at the 2-day Fine Gael think-in, which is taking place today and tomorrow in Galway.

    The Parliamentary Party is meeting in Salthill, ahead of the start of the new Dáil term, and discussions will focus on Fine Gael's Budget priorities, housing and homelessness and Brext.

    Galway-based Minister of State Séan Kyne told Midwest News that it's an important opportunity to hear from senior Ministers in relation to these issues....

  • Fine Gael's Director of Elections in Mayo has denied reports that dozens of Michelle Mulherin's election posters were illegally removed in parts of East Mayo earlier this week, and says they were taken down on his instruction.

    Senator Mulherin told Midwest News yesterday that up to 40 posters were removed on Tuesday, many in the Kilkelly area, and were later returned to her office.

    She reported the matter to Gardai.

    However, in a statement to Midwest News this morning, the FG Director of Elections in Mayo Tom Garvey says he instructed that FG posters in East Mayo to be taken down and returned to the relevant candidate for placing in their assigned areas.

    He said significant analysis and workload went into dividing the areas fairly among the three FG candidates in Mayo to maximise the local vote for the party.

    Mr Garvey said it's important that posters highlighting individual candidates are only placed in the "internally agreed division of areas within the Mayo constituency".

    He said the party in Mayo will be strictly enforcing this approach in order the maximise the poll for the three party candidates - Michael Ring, Michelle Mulherin and Alan Dillon.

    Mr Garvey stressed that the posters were lawfully removed, on his instruction.


  • Fine Gael candidates are on track to top the poll in all three European Parliament constituencies, according to a special Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll taken with sample ballot papers earlier this week.

    Fianna Fáil will also challenge strongly to elect MEPs in each of the constituencies, while Sinn Féin’s three MEPs will see their vote decline substantially but remain in the running to retain their seats.

    The poll indicates that other left-wing candidates are likely to end up competing with each for the remaining seats, though Luke Ming Flanagan in Midlands North West is likely to poll strongly and be returned, according to this poll.

    The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll was conducted on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week among 500 voters in each of the three European parliament constituencies using a sample ballot paper, a total of 1,500 voters across 150 sampling points in all constituencies. The accuracy is estimated at plus or minus 4.4 per cent at the European constituency level.

    In the Midlands Northwest constituency  Mairead McGuinness a sitting  MEP is set to be a runaway poll topper on 26%.

    Ind Luke Flanagan is on 16 per cent, while Sinn Féin sitting MEP Matt Carthy is on 14 per cent.

    Marie Walsh FG is on 11 percent, Peter Casey 9 % , Brendan Smith  FF 8% and Ann Rabbitte FF on 5 %.

    The rest of the candidates in this constituency are polling below the margin of error ( from 1 to 3 %)

  • Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will hold a referendum to cap land prices quickly if they succeed in forming a government.

    The framework between the two parties published last week referred to their willingness to tackle land costs.

    The Sunday Business Post reports that the two parties have privately agreed to hold a referendum asking voters to give the state the power to cap land prices.

    The level of the cap has not yet been decided.

    The land development agency and councils would be given the power to acquire housing land at the capped prices using compulsory purchase orders.

  • Fianna Fail is the most popular political party in the Connacht / Ulster region - according to the latest Irish Times / Ipsos MRBI opinion poll.

    Nationally, Fine Gael maintains a narrow lead over Fianna Fail, with the two parties looking set to compete to lead the next Government.

    The poll shows national support of 29% for Fine Gael, 25% for Fianna Fail and 14% for Sinn Fein.

    The Green Party is up to 8%, Labour Party down 1 to 6% and Independents & Others are at 18%.

    Sampling for the poll was conducted among 1,200 voters from Friday to Sunday last, in the wake of last week's Budget and the meeting between Taoiseach Leo Varadker and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Brexit.

    The figures are compared with the last poll carried out before the May local and European elections.

    A regional breakdown shows Fianna Fail on  34% support in Connacht / Ulster- significantly higher than Fine Gael's 23%, with Sinn Fein on 14% and Labour on 3%



  • All seats in the 33rd Dáil have been filled with Fianna Fáil the largest party by only one seat.

    No party has more than 40 seats in what is the most fractured Dáil in history.

    Cavan Monaghan was the final constituency to declare with the two sitting Fianna Fáil TDs Brendan Smith and Niamh Smyth re-elected.

    That pushed Micheál Martin's party out to 38 seats, the most by one party, but Fianna Fáil's second worst ever election result.

    Sinn Féin has had its best ever election, with Mary Lou McDonald just one behind Fianna Fáil on 37 seats.

    Fine Gael managed to get 35 TDs elected, better than the 2002 result even though they got a smaller percentage of the vote.

    There's 12 Green TDs in this Dáil, 4 times what Eamon Ryan had four weeks ago.

    Labour lost a seat to return 6 TDs, while the Social Democrats won 4 extra to also return 6.

    Five Solidarity People Before Profit TDs join Aontú's Peadar Toibin and 20 Independents.

    No combination of the largest two parties can form a government, meaning there could be many weeks of negotiations ahead as politicians examine the historic result of this election and try to shape it into a government.


  • Fianna Fail has opened up a 12 point lead on Fine Gael according to the latest opinion poll.

    Published in the Sunday Times, it's the first since campaigning started in the general election and is a timely boost for Micheal Martin, but disastrous for the Taoiseach.

    The last Sunday Times/Behaviour and Attitudes poll a month ago had both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail neck and neck on 27 percent.

    However, this latest survey, carried out during the RIC commemoration controversey this month, shows a 12 point gap's opened up between the country's two biggest political parties.

    According to the poll, Fianna Fail now sits on 32 percent, up five, while Fine Gael has dropped seven points to 20 percent.

    Sinn Fein, down one, is now only one point behind Fine Gael on 19 percent.

    Meanwhile the Greens have gained one point and are now on seven percent while Labour are down two to four percent.

    Elsewhere Solidarity/People Before Profit drop one to two percent, Renua are up one to one percent and the Social Democrats are unchanged at one percent.

    923 people were asked their views in the poll between January 2nd and 14th.

  • Fianna Fail has paid the price for backing the Government for another year.

    A Red C poll for today's Sunday Business Post shows support for Micheal Martin's party is down 5 points to 22 percent, following its decision to back a new 'confidence and supply' extension.

    The paper's Political Editor Michael Brennan says Fine Gael is also down, with the independents picking up the gains.