Paudie Coffey: “political cowardice”

Paudie Coffey: “political cowardice”

The numerically-challenged Government could soon be back in the dock after it once again brazenly blocked a by-election in Waterford.

Local Fine Gael Senator and Dáil candidate Paudie Coffey has given formal notice to the Government of his intention to bring fresh proceedings against the State.

This follows yesterday’s voting down of an Opposition motion to move the writ for Waterford (Thurs).

Represented by Kevin O’Higgins Solrs, who’ve sought the earliest hearing date possible, Portlaw-based Mr Coffey will ask the High Court to treat this action “as a refusal to remedy the continuing constitutional wrong” that is the coalition’s refusal to hold a by-election eight months on from the resignation of Martin Cullen on March 8 last.

Sinn Féin candidate David Cullinane had earlier said the “clear and decisive” Doherty Judgment on his party’s challenge to the 16-month hiatus in Donegal South West had “set a precedent”.

That the Government is merely prepared to finally fill the Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher vacancy “proves they have learned nothing,” the city councillor said, adding that he’d have “no hesitation in dragging the Government back to court.”

Senator Coffey has beaten him to the punch, however, with constituency chairman Michael Van Turnhout to bring similar proceedings in respect of Dublin South, where Fine Gael TD George Lee quit in February – a clear move by the party to get in on the act.

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