Fine Gael Deputy, Simon Coveney, travelled to Athlone yesterday (Tuesday, March 15 ) to hold discussions with members of the Independent Alliance regarding the formation of the next Government, including newly elected TD Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran.
Deputy Moran and the Independent Alliance have made it clear that they are willing to sit down with each party and have no preference regarding which one they go into power with. Moran said that above all the alliance does not want to see “an unstable government” emerge from the discussions taking place.
Speaking last week, Independent Alliance leader, Shane Ross, said his group is willing to support whichever party takes its 10-point charter for change “most seriously”. The charter calls for the reform of the Oireachtas, an end to cronyism, support for small businesses and addressing the needs of rural Ireland.
Rural Ireland has always been an area of intense focus for Boxer Moran. His personal manifesto lists a number of steps he wishes to see implemented during his time in the Dáil. These include tackling rural crime, supporting planning for the building of one-off housing in rural areas, preventing the closure of rural post offices, ensuring the delivery of flood control measures, the extension of rural transport systems, and ensuring CAP reforms protect the viability of family farms and rural way of life.
It remains to be seen whether Boxer and the Independent Alliance will be in a position of power to see these measures implemented. A position in the next Government would mean an opportunity to have them realised.
The Dáil is due to meet on Tuesday, March 22, when acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny will update the House on how efforts to form a Government are progressing.