Katherine Zappone explains reason for voting for Enda Kenny

The recently elected TD for Dublin South West was the only one of the 15 Independents involved in government formation talks to vote in favour of Kenny’s nomination for Taoiseach yesterday.

Her decision came as a surprise to many because in a Tweet posted yesterday morning she said she would be abstaining in the third vote to elect a taoiseach.

The other 14 Independents had earlier announced their intention to abstain from the vote for Taoiseach.

They also said they were stepping back from the talks with both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil until they agree “that they will give mutual support to each other, in the event of either party leader becoming Taoiseach in a minority Government”.

Enda Kenny was defeated by 77 votes to 52, with the acting Taoiseach’s nomination being supported by all 50 Fine Gael TDs, Michael Lowry and Katherine Zappone.

Following her u turn, the local TD released a statement last night explaining her reasons for supporting Enda Kenny.

“I hope that my vote today for Enda Kenny as Taoiseach brings us closer to forming a minority Government, one wherein all members of the Dáil will have more say in how the business of the Dáil is conducted and how to make law, so that we can get on with the work that all our constituents want us to do. After 7 weeks, while the public has waited, I believe that this is the right thing for me to do. That is why I am supporting Enda Kenny for Taoiseach.”

Her decision has left some people questioning her motives and a lot of online comment this morning from local constituents expressed anger at her decision to back Mr Kenny. She went on in her statement to explain how her support for a minority government could be beneficial.

“During the election, I promised to share the views of my Constituents with everyone who would listen, and talk to anyone who was willing to form a stable Government. I have vigorously shared the concerns and issues of the people of Dublin South West, and passionately represented the voice of those facing inequality due to social background, gender, or minority status.

“I have made numerous recommendations with regard to the housing crisis, the lack of affordable childcare, that we must address the issue of a Referendum on the 8th Amendment, and that people with disabilities require more Government support to achieve independence.I have learned a considerable amount in these discussions, and have developed working relationships which we can build on during the 32nd Dáíl.”

In the next few days Fine Gael will attempt to gather the numbers needed to have Enda Kenny elected taoiseach at the fourth attempt next Wednesday, and as well as appeals to the other Independents they will also try to get the Labour Party and Green Party to vote for Mr Kenny and participate in a minority government.

These groups will also be heavily influenced by how well talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil progress with some experts saying differences over Irish Water could be a barrier to the formation of a Fine Gael led minority government and trigger another General Election next month.