Shane Ross to write ‘outspoken’ book on last government

by Gary Ibbotson

Outgoing Dublin Rathdown TD and Minister for Sport Shane Ross says he’s going to write a tell-all book about the last government.

Ross, who lost his seat in this month’s general election says the book will be “very outspoken” and detail what happened behind the scenes of the Fine Gael-led government.

Originally elected to the Dail in 2011, Ross was re-elected in 2016 and supported Fine Gael’s administration as part of Independent Alliance.

Speaking to Pat Kenny on Newstalk, Ross also said that he expects Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to go into coalition but “they’ll both say they’re doing it incredibly reluctantly”.

“People don’t say what they mean in these situations,” he said and that “Leo Varadkar has said as a last resort” he would speak to Fianna Fail.

“But they actually want to be in power, and they don’t want to be in power with Sinn Féin.

“It’s looking to me the only real option at the moment,” he said.

Ross added that he expects the Green Party and some Independent TD’s to join the coalition.

“It may be that both Leo Varadkar and Micheal Martin and Eamon Ryan, if they all get together, they’ll add up to about 85 – which is just comfortable.

“But they may feel it’s more sensible to take in few Independents as well in order to make it even more comfortable for themselves.”

The incumbent Minister – who still holds his position in office until a new government is formed – was also asked about the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) his role in opening up funding for the organisation

“The FAI was a hornet’s nest and it came up to bite us very quickly,” he said.

“Sport… is a big business. And it’s not just about people breaking records and scoring goals, it’s about huge amounts of money.

“And where there are huge amounts of money, there are always problems.

“We dealt with the FAI I think effectively, I hope effectively.

“We’ve cleaned out the board now at this stage which was something that was very difficult to do. We’ve got independent directors there who I think are people of incredible integrity,” he said.

The FAI were given a bailout of €7.5m in interest-free loans and the reintroduction and doubling of State funding.

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