Fiann Fail education spokesperson and Meath East TD Thomas Byrne has blasted secret Fine Gael plans to bring in new voting arrangements for those currently cocooning, and those living in nursing homes ahead of calling a snap general election.
Byrne is a part of the FF negotiating team which is currently in talks with Fine Gael and the Green party over forming a new government and it remains to be seen whether his outburst on social media will rock that particular boat or not.
The plans, revealed in todays Irish Times indicate that ideas on how to hold a general election in the midst of the coronavirus crisis – including spreading voting over a number of days, giving “cocooners” a postal vote and allowing polling in nursing homes – is being drawn up within Government.
A limited number of Cabinet Ministers are aware of the plans, but sources said they are being drafted by officials on the orders of Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy on a contingency basis should the current negotiations to form a government fail.
One option being mooted is to hold voting over two or three days to allow for social distancing at polling stations. In such a scenario polling days may be allocated to certain addresses or streets, but no firm decisions have been made.
Byrne however is angry over the proposals and posted the following tweets on his twitter account in response, calling the suggestions utterly sick.
Speaking to Meath Live he aid, ‘I stand over the tweets, given what is happening in our nursing homes at the moment I do find the suggestions to be utterly sick.’
A senior FF source told Meath Live, ‘What is behind this is that the government feels their handling of the CoronaVirus crisis is being exposed as more and more inadequate every day, and they may well gamble on having another run at an election while polls still show them riding high.
‘They may see a crash in their ratings coming and try and salvage something before that happens.’
Thomas Byrne TD – Meath East