Murphy insists Tánaiste crisis has strengthened Government

The Housing Minister believes ties between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have been bolstered

Murphy insists Tánaiste crisis has strengthened Government

Photograph: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Housing Minister has insisted the recent political crisis may have brought Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael closer together.

On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, Eoghan Murphy dismissed concerns that the confidence and supply arrangement is in tatters.

It is generally accepted in the halls of Leinster House that there will be a general election in the first half of next year - however Minister Murphy said he believes the arrangement can still survive:

"I don't think it is damaged," he said. "I think obviously there is always going to be a tension between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gale insofar as us as part members in the Dáil - that will always maintain.

"My impression from what happened over the weekend with the work the Taoiseach did with Micheál Martin to try and avert an election is that is actually helped strengthen the confidence and supply between the two leaders."

Members of both parties have been seeking to mend the rift brought about by how close the Government came to collapse yesterday,  however this afternoon, Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness warned that an election is now "inevitable."

Fianna Fáil has insisted in public the Tánaiste's resignation is not a big win for them - and Deputy McGuinness said the country has been damaged by the crisis:

"It has been damaged in terms of trust between the two main parties," he said.

"It has shown a dysfunctional side of Government  within the Department of Justice that needs to be repaired quickly.

"I think that damage has been done to this country and I think an earlier election than was planned is absolutely essential."

Meanwhile the Taoiseach has been defending his handling of the crisis - insisting that he does not believe in execution without trial when it comes to his ministers.

While both sides are publically trying to heal their differences, TDs from all parties are preparing for an election early next year.