Galway TD Sean Canney leaves the Independent Alliance

It comes after a dispute over the role as Minister of State at the Office of Public Works

Galway TD Sean Canney leaves the Independent Alliance

File photo: Galway TD Sean Canney arrives at Government Buildings, 05-05-2016. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Galway East TD Sean Canney has announced his decision to leave the Independent Alliance.

In a statement, he said he will continue to support the Government on “issues of confidence and budgetary matters.”

The move comes after the group of independents announced that Deputy Canney would not be returning to his role as Minister of State at the Office of Public Works (OPW).

During the political turmoil that led to the establishment of the current minority Fine Gael Government, it was agreed the deputy would share the role with Longford and Westmeath deputy Kevin "Boxer" Moran.

Deputy Canney took office for the first year of the Government, with Deputy Moran taking up the role in May 2017.

It was widely believed that the position would revert back to Deputy Canney in the coming weeks, however Deputy Moran refused to step aside – and was backed by the other members of the group.

In his statement this afternoon, Deputy Canney wished the Independent Alliance all the best in the future.

He said there are a number of national issues that are

I confirm that I will continue to support the Government on issues of confidence and budgetary matters.

He noted that he had taken time to come to his decision and thanked his supporters for their patience.

I have taken time to consider all my options and I thank you all for your patience.

“I want to thank all who have contacted me over the last number of weeks offering their support,” he said.

“I want again to emphasise that it is business as usual for me as I continue to serve the constituents of Galway East as an Independent TD.”

The decision to keep Deputy Moran in the role was taken after a meeting attended by the two men as well as the Transport Minister Shane Ross and the Minister of State for Training and Skills John Halligan.

Deputy Canney had previously broken ranks by speaking out against Minister Ross’ proposed drink driving legislation.

He warned that the introduction of an automatic driving ban for first-time offenders detected at the lowest limit “goes too far.

He said the legislation needed to be ‘rural proofed’ with full consideration given to people who live in isolated locations.

He voted against the Government on the Road Traffic Bill in late April.