Saturday 21 October 2017

Quotes of the day: What the politicians are saying about General Election 2016

Roisin Shorthall of the Social Democrats at the count in the RDS. Picture: Tom Burke
Roisin Shorthall of the Social Democrats at the count in the RDS. Picture: Tom Burke
Richard Boyd Barrett
Eamon Gilmore

With Irish politics taking a seismic shift and two of the establishment parties likely to fill less than half the seats in the Dail, here is how the impact of that played out:

  • Paul Murphy of the Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit was out early predicting the drama: "I think we have seen a political earthquake - the end of the two and half party system."
  • Mark Mortell, Fine Gael strategist and a confidante of Taoiseach Enda Kenny, said: "What you've got here is an extraordinary situation. It is a massive fracturing of the political system."
  • MEP Luke Ming Flanagan predicted the changes would keep coming: "Whatever about today for Sinn Fein, something very big in the future is going to happen."
Luke 'Ming' Flanagan
  • Martin McGuinness, the party's Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister, dismissed criticism of Gerry Adams' leadership: "Some of the people who criticise Gerry Adams in my opinion couldn't lace his boots as a politician."
  • Michael Healy Rae, the Independent from Kerry who looks like he carved up the Kingdom with brother Danny, had this message: "Some of the smart alecs up above in Dublin who might've been picking on me, they'll have to pick through him first now."
  • Social Democrat Roisin Shortall went toe-to-toe with her old Labour colleague Pat Rabbitte: "I don't think that hammering people on low incomes whether that's children or pensioners is doing the right thing."
  • Richard Boyd Barrett, of the People Before Profit-Anti-Austerity Alliance, described the dramatic political change as the "end of civil war politics".
Richard Boyd Barrett
  • Former Labour leader and retiring TD Eamon Gilmore offered the explanation on his party's implosion: "I think it started in 2011 when Fine Gael and Labour formed a government and had a very difficult job to do."
  • Social Democrat Stephen Donnelly, a poll topper in Wicklow, spotted one of the elephants in the room: "Is it just me, or is FF now talking about sharing power with FG? But they promised, unequivocally, that they wouldn't. They. Promised."

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