Stephen Donnelly TD

This morning

Following his unexpected departure from the Social Democrats Stephen Donnelly went on the Pat Kenny show on Newstalk where he spoke with Jonathan Healy (sitting in for Pat) about his future plans.

Jonathan Healy: First of all, after all that’s happened this week, has the dust settled somewhat?

Stephen Donnelly: “Yeah, I think it has. It’s been a tough few days, the decision on Monday was a very sad decision for me, personally. It was some time in coming, y’know, I’ve been considering it, I’ve been talking to some people, but I’ve been immersed in the Social Democrats for the best part of two years, and it was a very intense thing to do. I’m very proud to have done it, very proud to have worked with the people that were involved with it. was a sad day, but yeah, life moves on. The country moves on, there are important things to be doing. We’d #appletax on Wednesday, we’ve the new vulture fund amendment for Minister Noonan, which is a great first step, a lot of additional work, so life moves on. There are more important things than the soap opera of politics.”

Healy: “Well, we’ve all been through dramatic breakups in our lifetimes. This was quite dramatic, as your fellow co-leaders, if I can call them that, were suggesting you were workshy, did that hurt?”

Donnelly: “No, it didn’t hurt at all, I grew up in Ireland with a mop of red hair, you learn to get a fairly thick skin pretty quick.  I’m more than capable of throwing stones across the House, I have done so many times over the last six years, so not at all.”

Healy: “Were you workshy, that’s the question!”

Donnelly: “No. One of the comments I made to one of my colleagues was ‘if they’re going to have a go, you’d think they’d pick something with a little more credibility’. There’s nobody involved in setting up a new party, and to be honest, Jonathan, very few people in politics that are workshy. It’s an intense job, it’s a very rewarding job, but no, clearly there was no merit to that. Look, it was a tough week for everybody, they felt they had to say something. I think it was disappointing, they let themselves down, it’s irrelevant.”

Healy: “Have you spoken to Roisín [Shorthall] or have you spoken to Catherine [Murphy] since this happened on Monday?”

Donnelly: “No, no we haven’t. We had an awkward session in the Dáil with the three of us in there as we’re all still in the same technical group. But we’re all there to serve, you know, and we’ll move on. We’ll all do the best we can as TDs, the best we can to our ability, so we’ll just move on.”


Healy: “You want to be in government, you’ve made that clear…”

Donnelly: “Sorry, can I, sorry to cut across you there, I haven’t made that clear, that’s not why I’m in politics…”

Healy: “No, your motivation is, if you’re in government in whatever capacity, you make more of a difference.”

Donnelly: “Sure.”

Healy: “That’s what I’m saying.”

Donnelly: “Sorry, yeah.”

Healy: “You have more of an opportunity now, perhaps, to do that, because, we know the arithmetic in the Dáil. There are many people now outside of your own constituency, who would like to see you serve some way in government. And let’s face it, you’re hot property, in political terms, Fine Gael might want you, Fianna Fáil might want you, is the phone ringing?”

Donnelly: “No, the phone isn’t ringing, I’ve had a few texts from a few friends of mine in some of the other political parties, I haven’t been approached on John [Halligan], and John is a Minister of State, not said that he’s resigning, but he has obviously sent out a few warning shots, and is taking the situation in Waterford very carefully. But, y’know, Minister Halligan has a job, and no-one is taking his place, because he’s doing it.”

Healy: “I was asking more about Fianna Fáil, who seem to be linked to you in some way. Has a call come through from Mícheál Martin yet?”

Donnelly: “No, no call has come through, I have taken soundings, I will continue to take soundings both in Leinster House and more importantly here in Wicklow. I was around the constituency yesterday, around Arklow town and Wicklow, talking to supporters, and talking to people on the street. Just listening. You know, ultimately, I work for them, we work for them. So, it’s important that I hear what they have to say on the best thing to do

Healy: “So for now, you’re staying as an Independent, for now, but the future will probably hold something different, you just don’t know what that is yet, you’ll have to consult widely.”

Donnelly: “Yeah, yeah. Exactly.”

Listen back in full here.

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38 thoughts on “Call Me

    1. petey

      “the sly dig from his former colleagues”

      it was, and yet it was swallowed whole by interviewers, at least judging by the sampling i read here on BS

    2. Sheik Yahbouti

      I won’t be calling you, Stephen. The aroma of PD about you almost put me off voting SD. almost, but not quite. Enjoy whatever ‘joonor Ministry ‘ you manage to snaffle for yourself. The sad part is that you KNOW what is right, but are prepared to compromise too much, for the sake of gain. That makes the Sheik sad. Is “New politics” nearly as bad as “Noo Labour”?

  1. Tony

    A top bloke and an excellent communicator. Parties would be lucky to have him. The mask slipped on the SD’s with their petty sniping and bithcing. He’s well out of it.

    1. :-Joe

      I have to laugh,

      So the el numero uno FG/FF propaganda media radio station run by their generous auld uncle Denis “The Haiti (Disaster Capitalist/Clinton Foundation ) Menace ” O’Brien, does a repeated highlighted news item all day long and on the hour making Donnelly look like he was better to ditch the ungrateful auld hags and move on to bigger and better things….

      & then you swallow it hook line and sinker….



      1. Owen C


        it was pretty much the same story on RTE the other day. Maybe its not propaganda, but just reality?

        1. :-Joe


          You just shot yourself in the foot while proving my point …..

          RTE is the TV dept. of the establishment media propaganda machine…

          No offence but I thought most people on here were at least aware of their obvious establishment bias…


  2. john

    hopefully he goes into government as an independent to replace that loon from Waterford who is holding the country hostage.

        1. Faecal Matters

          Yes they didn’t say he was workshy specifically but it was clearly implied. Should we be concerned – well I don’t think so. Isn’t Ammo their ‘PR girl’? Soc Dems are a lost cause.

          1. Lilly

            + 1 Unless Catherine Murphy assumes leadership pronto – with fewer ramblings from Ammo – their days are numbered unfortunately.

  3. Anne

    Healy: “You want to be in government, you’ve made that clear…”
    Donnelly: “Sorry, can I, sorry to cut across you there, I haven’t made that clear, that’s not why I’m in politics…”
    Healy: “No, your motivation is, if you’re in government in whatever capacity, you make more of a difference.”
    Donnelly: “Sure.”
    Healy: “That’s what I’m saying.”
    Donnelly: “Sorry, yeah.”

    hmmmm he’s not talking to anyone in Arklow and he knows exactly what his plans are.

  4. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

    …reporting from Limerick, this is Radio Anne,, where I know everything. According to all reports the guy seems to have a conscience and wants to do something right, so let’s not be less hasty.
    – Just look at his track record… Oh hang on, wait.

    Yeah, hang on, wait.
    You’re castigating him for what others are suggesting he might do.
    Grow up.

  5. Lilly

    I didn’t buy the workshy thing for a second. Could they not just have spit out the real reason for his exit instead of all the pansying around, and waffle about his ‘disengagement’. Beginning of the end for the Soc Dems, I feel.

  6. Buzz

    My reading of Donnelly’s departure is that it’s a clear vote of no-confidence in his colleagues, but he’s too diplomatic to go there despite their petty digs. IMO he’s right to get out early.

  7. some old queen

    Stephen done some great work on the vulture funds. It is beyond belief that nobody in the main parties knew anything about it before he raised the issue.

    It is better to have him on the inside p|ssing out than the other way about so I expect he already has a government position in the bag.

    Time will tell.

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