Paschal Donohoe is ‘too good a minister to lose’, Fine Gael’s Michael Ring has insisted.
Minister Donohoe has claimed that he was only recently informed that €1,100 had been paid to workers who put up his election posters in 2016.
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform acknowledged this “clear mistake” and amended his election expenses but supporters fear he could yet have to resign as a minister.
“He has been a tremendous Minister for Finance,” Deputy Ring told Newstalk Breakfast.
“He has been a minister that has been there for business, a minister that was there for families, a minister that was there for the country.
“And I hate to see a good man destroyed by a political party [Sinn Féin] that has no credibility at all and I’m really upset by it.
“Because Paschal Donohoe is an honest man, he’s a decent man.
“He made a mistake and I don’t want to see that man taken out of office like Phil Hogan, like Frances FitzGerald, like Dara Calleary - and then in a few months’ time, they’ll be proven to be innocent.
“I’m saying here today, loud and clear, I fully support Paschal Donohoe and I don’t believe that he should be hounded out of office - because he has been a fantastic minister and I don’t think anybody should lose their job over a few posters going up on a pole.”
Minister Donohoe is due to address the controversy in the Dáil this week and Deputy Ring said he hoped his colleagues would be in a forgiving mood.
“We all make mistakes," he said.
"You make mistakes, I make mistakes and Paschal Donohoe made a mistake and he’s apologised for that mistake.
“We shouldn’t now be hounding him out of office. I’ve been talking to people all over my constituency of Mayo and they’ve been saying to me, ‘This is a farce.’”
Deputy Ring served as a junior minister in the Department of Transport Minister for a number of years under Minister Donohoe and believes the Government would benefit from keeping him on.
“He’s too good of an individual to lose, he’s too good of a minister,” he said.
“And I’m saying this to you loud and clear today, Fine Gael should not allow it to happen and Fianna Fáil shouldn’t allow it happen and the Greens shouldn’t allow it happen.
“We want Paschal Donohoe where he is now. Keep him there and to make sure that we go on and continue the work that we need to do in Government.”
Main image: Michael Ring TD and Paschal Donohoe TD. Photo: Alamy.com