Michael Healy Rae says both party leaders back proposal of Minister for Rural Affairs

The Independent TD has said that both party leaders have recognised the situation needs to be addressed

Michael Healy Rae has revealed that both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have backed the idea of having a Minister for Rural Affairs in the next government. 

With negotiations to form a government still at an impasse, there are a number of issues up for discussion as both party leaders endeavour to pull together enough votes ahead of the next Dáil meeting on April 6th.

Independent TD Michael Healy Rae has stated that he has spoken with both Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin and they have backed the idea of having "a senior Minister for Rural Affairs, and not rural development". 

Speaking on Countrywide on RTÉ, Mr Healy Rae said that "the caretaker Taoiseach has told me that, yes, he will have such a position if he's in power and Micheál Martin  has told me that yes, it's Fianna Fáil policy that he will have a full minster for Rural Affairs".

Healy Rae added that "there was a great imbalance over the last number of years and I really feel that rural Ireland was left behind", which is why he has been backing the proposal recently

Although he had previously stated that he would not be putting himself forward for the position, when asked whether he would like to form part of the government in the role of Minister for Rural Affairs, he said "my honest answer is I'll listen to everything. I'll see what arises.

"If an opportunity was ever to arise to me that made sense and that [...] would be a good thing for the people I represent, it would be a very foolish politician that would rule themselves out of something without knowing what they were ruling themselves out of".