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Thursday 2 October 2014

Kelly: I wouldn't support coalition with Sinn Fein

Sam Griffin

Published 04/06/2014 | 11:43

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Junior Minister Alan Kelly
Junior Minister Alan Kelly

LABOUR Party Deputy Leader hopeful Alan Kelly says he would not support going into government with Sinn Fein.

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The junior minister for transport said people were not ready for Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams to hold a high office here.

 

His comments echo those of Joan Burton but are in stark contrast to those of Alex White who said he would not rule out going into government with Sinn Fein.

 

"I saw the comments of Alex (Quinn) and subsequently Joan (Burton). I would be very reticent to go into government with Sinn Fein. I think they have a road to travel yet.

 

He later added: "Personally I think the idea of Gerry Adams as Tanaiste or a senior minister in government is not something people are ready for.

 

He said Sinn Fein weren't ready to be "totally upfront with people as to regards where they've cone from and what they stand for".

 

However he also said it was "nowhere near time" to discuss potential coalition partners.

 

On the issue of medical cards he said it was "very regretful" the issue hadn't been resolved sooner and described the controversy as "disgraceful".

 

"Some of the decisions in relation to medical cards were scandalous and you can't stand over them. Disgraceful.

 

"I think the centralisation process has caused a number of problems. I'm delighted with the decision of the government to make the changes that they have in the past few days.

 

"I look forward to possibly even more changes in the near future," he said at the launch of National Bike Week.

 

Some Fine Gael backbenchers are calling for Health Minister James Reilly  to be removed because of his handling of the situation. 

 

Mr Kelly said 'fresh faces in goverment are a priority" but said the position if Health Minister was a matter for the Taoiseach and Tanaiste.

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