Government dealt a huge blow as prominent TD resigns from Fine Gael 10 months ago

Government dealt a huge blow as prominent TD resigns from Fine Gael

Just a week from the crucial budget.

Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick has resigned from the party and stated that he intends to run in the next general election as an Independent candidate.

The Louth TD said that he had felt "isolated" in the party in recent times and that had influenced his decision.

In a statement the TD said that over the last 15 months his views had not been listened to.

He wrote: "The decision to resign from Fine Gael was a difficult decision to make.

"I have given 100% commitment during my time as a member of the party and have always been a team player. I backed the party when some very difficult decision had to be taken, even when I did not agree with the party I always supported them.

"Unfortunately over the past 15 months I have not been given the same support from Fine Gael as I had given them. My views were not always listened to and I felt isolated with the party itself."

His decision to resign from the party further weakens the government's already bare numbers in the Dáil just one week away from the crucial 2019 Budget.

The party now has 49 TDs in the Dáil and will likely rely on votes from the likes of Michael Lowry to ensure the confidence and supply agreement between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil continues (it is built on the agreement that the government will have the support of 57 TDs).

Fitzpatrick, a former Louth football manager, was a member of the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment and strongly opposed its repeal despite strong support for it among the party's senior members.