It looks like Ireland could be heading for a Fianna Fail/Green coalition after the two parties agreed a programme for government. The Irish Times has an account of the the contents that, if true, looks pretty thin from a green point of view, especially if the planned M3 route near the Hill of Tara is unchanged.
Fianna Fáil has offered acting PD leader Mary Harney a transfer to
the Department of Foreign Affairs, in a bid to overcome Green
objections to her remaining in the Department of Health and Children.
However, Ms Harney refused the offer outright and she is now set to
resume her command of health, including the plan to build private
hospitals on public hospital grounds, when the new Dáil meets on
The agreement between Fianna Fáil and the Greens was
sealed shortly before 8pm after 10 days of talks that stalled on Friday
and restarted over the weekend.
A compromise on Shannon means
that Dáil approval will be required before any non-United Nations
mandated military flight will be allowed to land, but this will not
interfere with the Americans’ current use of the airport, since they
now operate on a UN mandate.
The Greens have also accepted that
the controversial M3 motorway in Co Meath, which is to run near the
Hill of Tara, will go ahead, despite its previous vociferous opposition
to the plan.
Fianna Fáil has refused to offer any concessions
to the Greens on another one of its key election platforms – the demand
for an end to political parties and politicians accepting corporate
There may be a certain amount of spin in this, as the Irish Times is not a very Fianna Fail friendly paper, and this version will certainly discomfit Green Party members. They will be hoping to be able to point to some concessions when the full deal comes out.