Martin launches attack on 'right-wing' Fine Gael
Published 10/10/2016 | 02:30
The Fine Gael-led Government is drifting and ministers are failing to do anything expect repackage ongoing work, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has claimed.
In his strongest attack on Enda Kenny's party since entering a 'confidence and supply' arrangement last May, Mr Martin said Fine Gael had a deep commitment to a right-wing approach.
He said Fianna Fáil took "the edge off their ideology" during the negotiations that led to the formation of a government, but added: "There are a lot of people who say that the Government is drifting and is not delivering any badly needed strategic policies. They are absolutely right."
Speaking in front of 1,100 Fianna Fáil members at their annual President Dinner in Dublin at the weekend, Mr Martin said his party agreed to abstain on key Dáil votes because "all people elected to parliament have an obligation to ensure that the country has a government. The arrangement we reached is a fairly common one for Europe but is being tried for the first time here."
Mr Martin told the crowd that a lack of vision from the Government was nothing to do with its minority status and "everything to do with the core problem with Fine Gael - that party just doesn't understand the scale and nature of the challenges facing Irish society today".
He continued: "Ministers have around them an enormous policy apparatus. They have the opportunity to set a strategic direction and get ahead of problems.
"And yet all they can do is to carry on the policy of repackaging ongoing activity and presenting it as a plan."
He added that the "so-called 'Action Plan on Education' was simply the Department of Education's regular strategy document in a different cover".