Monday 27 March 2017

Leader insists there will be no deal with FF

Aine Kerr Political Correspondent

LABOUR leader Eamon Gilmore has again categorically ruled out going into government with Fianna Fail after the next General Election.

Mr Gilmore, who has repeatedly had to reassure his party and supporters he will not strike a deal with Fianna Fail, again insisted there would be no such pact after the election.

Asked if he would go in with Fianna Fail under any leadership, Mr Gilmore's response was a curt and flat "no".

The "one good thing" the Taoiseach and Fianna Fail could do for this country was to go to Aras an Uachtarain, seek a dissolution of the Dail and have a general election, he said. There needs to be a "fresh start" and a "clearing of the air", Mr Gilmore added.

The country cannot afford to have Fianna Fail serving out its notice, he warned.

Candidates

At the conclusion of the party's two-day think-in in Roscommon, Mr Gilmore announced that former Finance Minister and Dublin South East TD Ruairi Quinn had been appointed the party's national director of elections.

Each of the 65 candidates selected by Labour would be "standing to win".

But with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael likely to run more than 100 candidates, the decision to run just 65 candidates may be seen as an admission by Labour that it does not believe it can be the largest party..

This view, however, was rejected by Mr Gilmore, who claimed the number was "sufficient" to make Labour the largest party and to lead the next government. "We are running 65 candidates to win. That's our objective," he said. "We believe we can win a seat in every constituency and more than one in several."

Irish Independent

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