The increasing rapprochement between An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and ‘rebel’ Galway West TD Brian Walsh took another step forward this week with Walsh set to apply for re-admittance to the parliamentary party.
Dep Walsh was expelled from the parliamentary party last summer for voting against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. As further punishment, he and the other ‘dissident’ TDs and senators, including fellow Galwegian Sen Fidelma Healy Eames, were informed by HQ they were no longer entitled to call themselves Fine Gael TDs and were restricted to only attending meetings of their own local party branch.
However with Dep Walsh refusing to join the Reform Alliance TDs, centred around Lucinda Creighton, there has been a notable thaw in relations between Kenny and the Galwegian. This was in public evidence in the run-up to Christmas, when Dep Walsh accompanied the Taoiseach during the latter’s visit to Galway city to turn on the Christmas lights.
Now comes the news that Dep Walsh is to take steps back into the party fold.
“I will be making an application for re-admittance to the parliament party in the coming months,” Dep Walsh told the Galway Advertiser. “My voting against the abortion bill last summer was a one-off matter of conscience. I have voted with the Government in all other votes since then.”
Although Dep Walsh’s re-admittance is ultimatley the Taoiseach’s decision, it is understood he has received indications from senior figures within the Government and Fine Gael that his application will be looked on favourably