Martin denounces Sinn Féin as 'undemocratic' and run by IRA
Sinn Féin is "a centrally controlled undemocratic party" and its strategy is still determined by the IRA army council, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said.
Mr Martin again ruled out the prospect of entering a coalition with Sinn Féin. He said the way Michelle O'Neill was appointed party leader in the North was clear evidence of that party's undemocratic nature. "One would expect that the parliamentary leader would be elected by the parliamentarians or by the party membership. In this case she was appointed by Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and others we don't know about," Mr Martin told RTÉ's 'This Week' programme.
Mr Martin said that just last year the North's security services and PSNI had concluded that the IRA army council still existed and dictated Sinn Féin policies.
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams dismissed Mr Martin's criticisms.
"Micheál Martin, true to form, has again spent time criticising Sinn Féin in an opportunistic and nonsensical way. He is propping up a Government which presides over a housing emergency and a crisis in our health service, resiles from its responsibilities to people in the North and is ill prepared for Brexit," Mr Adams said.
Mr Adams said Mr Martin was trying to create a diversion. "He attacks Sinn Féin because Sinn Féin presents the most significant threat to the conservative politics of the Fianna Fáil leadership," he said.
The Fianna Fáil leader also said that its recruitment of former Independent TD and Social Democrat founder Stephen Donnelly had been very well received.
He stressed that no promises of future ministerial appointment had been made to Mr Donnelly. "No one has any guarantees or understandings with me in that regard," he said.
Mr Martin said he was not speaking to any other Independent politicians at present. But he welcomes dialogue with anyone who has political talent and says the party is open.