'They want a coronation not an election' - Micheal Martin slams Fine Gael in Ard Fheis speech
Published 16/01/2016 | 21:02
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has used his Ard Fheis speech to attack Fine Gael’s time in government, saying they “want a coronation not an election”.
More than 2,000 party supporters applauded Mr Martin as he described the Coalition as “an arrogant and out of touch government”.
“Well this is a republic and we don’t do coronations. The Irish people will decide,” he said.
Fianna Fail used the event to unveil their slogan for the forthcoming General Election: “An Ireland for all.”
Mr Martin said his party’s would campaign on the basis that they will provide a fairer society and accused Fine Gael of trying to “claim credit” for the late Brian Lenihan’s work.
“Enda Kenny is a man fond of telling stories about men with pints and the army at ATMs. But the biggest fairy tale of all is his claim to have delivered recovery.
“This government didn’t deliver recovery – it delayed it and made it more unfair. And it refused to tackle any problem until it became a crisis,” he said.
Mr Martin, who used the event to promote his election candidates, said Fianna Fail had spent the last five years reconnecting with communities and developing policies.
“In this election we will show that our country doesn’t have to accept that nothing can change, that we just have to keep quiet and let this government back in,” he said.
He also promised that Fianna Fail would be the first political party to have their election promises independently costed.
“We’re going to take a lead and do something no party has done before. We are going to get an independent analysis of our commitments which reviews the accuracy and affordability of our costings and their impact on economic growth,” he said.
“There will be no auction politics. No uncosted promises. No proposals which could damage the economy.”
Mr Martin argued that Fine Gael and “its cheerleaders relentlessly like to push the line that we can’t risk change”.
“In emergency departments, in waiting lists, burglaries, rural crime, response to floods, housing, homelessness, disability services, special education, serious drug abuse and in many other areas they have failed,” he said.
Mr Martin told the audience in the Citywest that Fine Gael and the Labour Party introduced 45 new taxes and “ignored the basic the principle of ability to pay”.
He said they had created “a harsher, a more unequal, unfair, unjust Ireland”.
“Less for pensions, for schools, for hospitals, for fighting crime, for supporting new business and for every other public service. That’s Fine Gael’s way,” Mr Martin said, adding: “Fianna Fail will never stop fighting this.”
He said Fianna Fail would create decent jobs and support enterprise, while cutting costs for families and improving services.
He also listed tackling crime and homeless as the party’s priorities.