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Dr Harty won his seat in the 2016 General Election as part of the ‘No Doctor, No Village’ campaign. In a wide-ranging interview with MI, Dr Harty said he has not been approached by any political party about the possibility of joining.
The issue has been in the news in recent months following the high profile recruitment of former Independent TD Stephen Donnelly by Fianna Fáil.
Dr Harty said that he will not be travelling the same political road. “I haven’t been approached by anybody,” said Dr Harty.
“I wouldn’t join a party. I think if you are elected as an Independent TD that (it) is your responsibility to be an Independent TD.
“I would think if you want to change [to] a party mid-term, I think you should resign your seat and stand in a by-election, for whatever party it is. Changing a party midstream? I just wouldn’t do it.
“I would have a philosophical objection to it, because I stood as an Independent. I didn’t stand as a Fianna Fáiler or Fine Galer or a Labour TD, I stood as an Independent.
“I think I would be betraying my constituency and my voters if I was to change for some personal reason, maybe for political advancement. That would be my personal view.”
Despite having been a GP for more than three decades before his election victory last year, Dr Harty said he planned to contest the next General Election whenever it is called.
However, he predicted that any election called in the short-term would not significantly alter the Dáil arithmetic.
“In fact, if we have a General Election tomorrow I think the result might not be a whole lot different than the one we had,” he said.
See full interview, pages 14-16