Friday 24 February 2017

AAA-PBP hoping for speaking rights after General Election's 'political earthquake'

Barry Lennon

Paul Murphy celebrates after being elected at the Citywest count centre. Photo: C’O’Riordan
Paul Murphy celebrates after being elected at the Citywest count centre. Photo: C’O’Riordan

The Anti-Austerity Alliance- People Before Profit grouping is a renewed force in Irish politics after almost doubling its support in Dáil Éireann over the weekend.

Paul Murphy hopes to gain the "magic number of seven" TDs, which will earn his party speaking rights.

"It means having the same amount of speaking time as Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil had in this Dáil," he said.

The party will walk into Leinster House with at least two new deputies.

Mr Murphy claimed AAA-PBP's success will lead to "the end of the two-and-a-half party system" after winning his seat in Dublin South West.

Mr Murphy described the result of the General Election as "a political earthquake", and a sign that the "system was breaking down".

"In the context of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil and Labour combined in a General Election being on 53-54pc... Things are changing extremely quickly in politics, if Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are forced together, which is possible, huge political changes, more political changes can happen," he said.

Mr Murphy did not rule out sharing power with Sinn Féin and other left-wing parties.

Meanwhile, Ruth Coppinger made a renewed pledge to get anti-abortion laws repealed within three months, following her election in the Dublin South West constituency.

With the exception of Labour, other parties have not taken a firm stance on the issue.

"I think that will be a major pressure on the established parties to recognise people want to repeal the Eighth [the constitutional ban]," Ms Coppinger said.

Fight

Ms Coppinger was in a fight for the last two seats with Labour leader Joan Burton over the weekend.

However, the Government party did not perform well in other parts of the county - often as the result of AAA-PBP's surge in popularity.

Mick Barry claimed his first General Election victory in Cork North Central, which cost Labour's Junior Minister Kathleen Lynch her seat. Mr Barry said that he was delighted to take the seat - he first ran for the Dáil in 2002.

He added that he hoped he could be part of a Coalition that could bring in "anti-capitalist measures".

"If the numbers don't stack up for that, we will provide a radical opposition alternative," he said.

Mr Barry will be joined by first-timer Gino Kenny of Dublin South West, and the party is hoping for two more seats as counting continues today.

Elsewhere, re-elected TD Richard Boyd-Barrett hit out at Fine Gael, saying its bad result was from voters who "didn't feel the recovery".

Irish Independent

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