Fine Gael deal with Labour and Independents in Laois to see Fianna Fáil lose out

Express Reporter

Reporter:

Express Reporter

Laois County Council HQ Portlaoise

A Labour Party councillor and independents look set to hold the balance of power as Fine Gael need just three councillors to rule the roost on Laois County Council for the next five years.

As the biggest party, FG could also renew their agreement with Fianna Fáil in county hall to have a majority control on the council. Such an arrangement would leave FF as a junior partner and would also lead to FG having to share more of the spoils of victory.

What is more likely is that Portlaoise Cllr Noel Tuohy of Labour and Durrow/Cullohill based Cllr Ollie Clooney, Cllr Ben Brennan and Cllr James Kelly, also independents would be approached by Fine Gael.

Cllr Tuohy, Cllr Brennan and Cllr Kelly were part of a group of independents and Sinn Féin councillors who were sidelined by the FG/FF coalition the last time out.   

FG sources said the deal with the independents is more likely. Cllr Brennan could be their least favoured source as he had previously been involved with Fianna Fáil. He has however been on his own since his election in 2009 as an independent.

A deal that would involve Sinn Féin is unlikely but possible. Laois SF TD Brian Stanley negotiated a five-year pact between an alliance of councillors and Fine Gael after the 2004 local elections. 

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