Michael Healy-Rae - Outgoing coalition the "most anti-rural government since foundation of state"

The Kerry TD has not yet revealed which party he will be backing

Michael Healy-Rae, Kerry, election,

Image: Sam Boal/Rolling News

Independent Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae has said the poor electoral performances of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are down to a lack of focus on rural Ireland. 

Healy-Rae said he was surprised Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have not formed a coalition, a solution Micheál Martin seems to have ruled out.

He believes both parties lost the election, and that this was a result of them losing sight of rural Ireland.

The outgoing coalition was the "most anti-rural government since foundation of state," he said.

The Kerry TD said he would listen to proposals by the different parties, and particularly their rural policies, before deciding on who to nominate as Taoiseach.

"There is a world outside the Red Cow roundabout and I want that world to be recognised," he said, mentioning his proposal to have a Minister for Rural Affairs at cabinet.

He refused to say, however, if he would be nominating himself for the position, but expressed his passion for promoting life in rural Ireland:

"I really and passionately believe in keeping life in rural Ireland, and I really and passionately believe there should be a minister in charge of that to make sure there would be a voice at the cabinet table for the people in rural Ireland."

When asked about a story published in The Sunday Times concerning his brother Danny - who received over €5,000 from Irish Water despite campaigning against it - Healy Rae said his family had a long history of managing water pipes in the area, and that both brothers stood by their opposition to Irish Water.