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Sunday 26 February 2017

Martin -- onus is on other TDs to topple Taoiseach

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

FORMER Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin indicated last night that he believed Fianna Fail TDs who supported Brian Cowen in Tuesday's confidence vote may now be reconsidering their position.

But Mr Martin ruled out launching another challenge to the Taoiseach in the wake of the cabinet reshuffle debacle.

The Cork TD resigned from Cabinet after 13 years when he failed to oust the Taoiseach as Fianna Fail leader in the confidence vote on Tuesday.

He said there was now a responsibility on others to "do the appropriate thing" if they have changed their position.

Mr Martin added that he was astonished by events on Thursday, when Mr Cowen's proposed cabinet reshuffle ended in humiliation after the Green Party refused to support him.

"I think people are surprised and shocked by what has happened," he said. "The nature of how it happened has caused a lot of concern within not just the opposition but within the Fianna Fail party itself.

Damage

"I think fundamentally it was the wrong decision to take because it was so close to a General Election and the scale of it was so great."

Mr Martin was speaking as he attended his first function in Fota in his native Cork after resigning as a minister.

He said he was astonished when Mr Cowen's bid to appoint new ministers was foiled by the junior coalition partners.

"I think it took people very much by surprise. It has done damage," he said.

"I met many deputies in what was a very dramatic situation. It has caused great concern."

Mr Martin said his own position was clear -- and what happens next was up to others.

"My position was made clear at the Parliamentary Party last week. I think, given what happened (on Thursday), it is time for people to think about it over the next short while and come to their own conclusions.

"Whether people should go or not -- we had a meeting last Tuesday. My view is, yes, it is very clear that people coming out of it yesterday may have different perspectives. If they do, I think they should do the appropriate thing.

"I think others should also think about it seriously, not just in terms of the party but in terms of the country," he added.

Irish Independent

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