Tuesday 23 May 2017

Ryanair's O'Leary on election: Ireland... can’t survive with minority government or coalition of liquorice all-sorts

Michael O’Leary. Photo: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg
Michael O’Leary. Photo: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The outcome of the general election was “a mess”, and voters will have to go to the polls in the next 12 months, outspoken Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has predicted.

Mr O’Leary was speaking this morning in Belfast after launching new winter Ryanair services from the city, and attending an event hosted by the private client arm of Dublin-based stockbroking firm there.

“I don’t think we’ll see political stability soon,” he told RTE’s News at One. “I think the outcome of the election is a mess and I think it’s inevitable we’ll have another election within 12 months.”

He added: “Ireland, given the fragile nature of our economy, can’t survive with either a minority government or a coalition of liquorice all-sorts. We need a stable government and I think we won’t get one based on the results last weekend.”

Mr O’Leary said it was “unlikely” that Fine Gael and Fianna Fail would manage to form a government.

“Logically, whether it’s in one or two more elections, you’re going to see Sinn Fein and the left get stronger and stronger, which ultimately means Fianna Fail and Fine Gael will in some way get together or coalesce and move to the centre-right; at the moment they hover in the centre-left.”

He said: “You have the radical left, the Shinners, and some of the other lunatics out there, and actually Ireland might be better served by having a right-left debate, so that instead of the left sitting there in opposition but being against everything , they’d have to come up with some credible economic  policies, of which they have none at the moment.”

Mr O’Leary said that in order for companies to invest they want to see clarity for the next three or four years.

“European stability is more important to us, but we like to see a stable government in the Republic.”

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