Saturday 1 October 2016

New left-wing pact hit by in-fighting even before launch

Published 28/10/2015 | 02:30

Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald
Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald

The campaign director of the Right2Change campaign insists they are "trying" to make the venture work, despite a major left-wing group refusing to enter a vote pact with Sinn Féin.

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Brendan Ogle was responding after Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy and others ruled out any such voting pact.

The various parties have been given until Friday to sign up to an agreed set of principles.

Mr Ogle insisted there was hope yet of it succeeding despite the stumbling blocks.

"I don't see it as a hole in the strategy. Parties have until Friday to decide, and at least we are trying," Mr Ogle told the Irish Independent.

Significance

Tánaiste Joan Burton has played down the significance of the new proposed left-wing pact, saying some of the parties have already "fallen out before they got to the altar".

Speaking at a senior citizens' event in Swords, North Dublin, Ms Burton said: "In terms of what has happened so far, I see that some of the groups are going to transfer and others are not going to have anything to do with any of the groups they are in an alliance with today.

"So it sounds like even before the parties get to the altar, they have fallen out, before they even got into the church, or wherever the union was going to be celebrated," she added.

"I saw some of the proposals of some of the parties involved before and certainly some of them wanted significant increases in employers' PRSI.

"In a situation where literally we are trying to get every single person back to work, I wonder to be honest about the wisdom of some of the proposals," she said.

Yesterday, Sinn Féin confirmed it is to enter into a vote-transfer arrangement with parties and Independents who have signed up to a left-wing platform.

However, some will not return the favour by asking their voters to transfer to Gerry Adams's party.

Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has said it would be "unforgivable" if other left- wing groups did not grasp the "opportunity" of a broad policy platform and transfer pact.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Ms McDonald confirmed Sinn Féin is to enter into a vote-transfer pact with parties and Independents who sign up to the Right2Change policy platform, which has developed from the anti-water charges movement.

However the Socialist Party-Anti Austerity Alliance has indicated it will not return the favour by asking supporters to transfer to Sinn Féin.

Dogfight

"I can only speak for Sinn Féin," Ms McDonald said.

She said that Sinn Fein's General Election manifesto will be "in sync and in harmony" with the 10 guiding principles of the Right2Change campaign.

Donegal Independent TD Thomas Pringle said he was still considering the three questions asked of him by the trade unions, but said any pact with Sinn Féin was problematic.

"Of course, it is problematic when they are trying to get rid of me. They are looking to run a third candidate to try and take me out," said Mr Pringle, who is in a dogfight for the last seat in the new single Donegal constituency.

Irish Independent

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