Micheal Martin: Political comebacks are not immediate
MICHEAL Martin hailed the Local and European Parliament elections as "a good day" for Fianna Fáil.
Mr Martin, speaking in Cork City Hall, said it marked a very encouraging recovery for the party from the virtual wipe-out of the 2011 General Election and positioned FF very well for the next general election.
"It has been a good day for FF and we are very pleased with what is emerging," he said.
When asked if he felt FF were out of the 'sin bin' after the 2011 General Election he said the party "still had a journey to go and we are very conscious of that."
"Political comebacks are not immediate. I got that and I got the scale of our defeat (2011). This is a milestone for the party's rehabilitation."
"The best part of this election for the party is the emergence of a lot of new talent nationwide which will position us very well in terms of forthcoming elections."
"I think you only have to look at places like Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Kildare to see that."
"The benchmark for us was always going to be the 2011 General Election which was virtually a wipe-out election for us."
"It came after the last local government elections which, in some areas, left us with virtually no councillors."
Mr Martin's brother, Sean, is virtually certain of re-election to Cork City Council while his niece, Kate, is battling for the final seat in her ward.
The Cork TD said it was too early to say whether Labour's dismal performance heralds the beginning of the end for the Coalition Government.
"I just don't know...but I think people have sent out a clear message to the Government about the way ordinary voters have been treated over recent years."
"I think that they (Labour) will probably hang on in there in Government because the alternative is simply too terrible to contemplate for the party."
Mr Martin said it was clear Labour were the real losers in the election - and that Sinn Fein had largely benefitted as a result.
"SF have in effect cannibalised the Labour Party. This is a very serious situation for the Labour. But this is a local election and the next general election will be somewhat different."