Friday 30 September 2016

What happens next? Fianna Fáil and Soc Dems have 'very informal chat' on power-sharing 'in the canteen'

Barry Lennon

Published 03/03/2016 | 02:30

Catherine Murphy TD. Photo: Tom Burke
Catherine Murphy TD. Photo: Tom Burke

The Social Democrats have weighed up sharing power with Fianna Fáil, as parties look to form a government after the General Election.

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Co-leader Catherine Murphy said she and Róisín Shortall had an "informal chat" with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

She told Mr Martin that political reform was a priority for her party as he attempts to form a government.

Ms Murphy said her party would meet at the end of the week to consider all of its options and review the General Election result.

Ms Murphy added that the result of the election, which left no clear winners, could support their "key issue" of reforming the Dáil.

"It isn't clear yet what will happen, but it could help Dáil reform as parties may have to seek support of others to pass bills," she said.

She believed that forming a government could be a "long process", adding: "We may not have a Taoiseach elected by the time the Dáil sits again next week."

In a tweet to Independent.ie, Ms Murphy added that the 'very informal' chat occurred in the Dail canteen.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has talked to a number of parties but has already ruled out a "left coalition".

"There was talk of government between Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Labour and the Social Democrats," he said, before adding: "But I don't think that's a runner."

Mr Ryan does not believe a minority government involving Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil would last very long.

He said he would continue to meet other parties and hoped that a "consensus for the country" could be formed.

He insisted environmental issues were "central" to any deal his party may make, adding "they can help develop the country's economy".

Campaigned

The General Election result puts 23 newly elected or re-elected Independent TDs into the frame for government-forming negotiations.

Kerry Independent Michael Healy-Rae would not say which party he talked to but admitted he had "some phone calls".

Mr Healy-Rae, who was elected along with his brother Danny, said both siblings would be sticking together for any talks.

"If you're talking to him, you're talking to me or vice versa," he said. "We campaigned together, voted together and got elected together."

Mr Healy-Rae said, if he and his brother were asked to support a government, he wanted a new role of minister for rural affairs to be created. "The last Government did not think that life existed beyond the Red Cow roundabout," he added.

Irish Independent

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