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Independent TD Noel Grealish to give 'necessary support' to government until Brexit resolved

Update: Independent TD Noel Grealish has confirmed he will back the government in key votes until Brexit has been sorted.

It shores up support for the coalition after Seán Canney was also brought back into the fold by being given a Junior Ministry.

Deputy Grealish said a stable government was needed during these delicate stages in the Brexit talks.

In a statement this evening, Deputy Grealish said: “I have decided to give the necessary support to the Government during this crucial stage of Brexit negotiations.

“Ireland is now entering one of the most critical and uncertain phases since the foundation of our state and it is in the best interests of our country as a whole that we have a stable Government at this crucial time."

The announcement came in the wake of a meeting with Tánaiste Simon Coveney and a conversation with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

"I have also spoken with Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin and I believe that there is a compelling public interest that must be served at this time, which outweighs the interests of any politician, individually or collectively," he said.

The move makes the prospect of an election before Christmas less likely, after Micheál Martin’s request to the Taoiseach that neither of them collapses the government until a Brexit deal has been accepted.

Meanwhile, Mary Lou McDonald says the government's Confidence and Supply arrangement is a 'political con job' which has led to uncertainty, instability and crisis.

The Sinn Féin leader claims the arrangement is designed to allow Fianna Fáil to 'pretend' to be in opposition while Fine Gael operates in Government without sanction.

Deputy McDonald says it's bad for politics, bad for government, and bad for citizens; at a time of challenge over Brexit, housing and healthcare.

She says Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have a decision to make - to formalise their position as coalition partners in Government or to go to the people.

[h2]Taoiseach proposes Richard Bruton as Minister for Communications[/h2]

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is proposing to make Richard Bruton the new Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

It comes after Denis Naughten resigned as Minister over his interactions with David McCourt, the head of the consortium bidding for Ireland’s rural broadband contract.

Mr Bruton has said he is "committed to implementing the National Broadband Plan" and is looking forward to the new challenge as Communications Minister.

The new changes to cabinet announced by Leo Varadkar today will see Richard Bruton take over as Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment.

That move will see former Chief Whip Joe McHugh take over as Minister for Education and Skills, the post vacated by Minister Bruton.

Sean Kyne will take on the role of Minister for the Gaeltacht & the islands, he will also assume the role of Chief Whip.

Meanwhile, Sean Canney has been promoted to the position of Minister of State at the Departments of Rural and Community Development and Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

The Independent TD's appointment shores up his support for the Government.

The appointments are subject to the approval of the Dáil and the Cabinet with a vote on the appointments to take place on Tuesday.