Monday 24 October 2016

Taoiseach: Micheal Martin attack is an act of 'desperation'

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin has insisted that his party can lead the next Government

Kevin Doyle and John Downing

Published 07/01/2016 | 12:55

Micheal Martin and Enda Kenny
Micheal Martin and Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has described an attack on him by Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin as an act of "desperation".

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Mr Kenny claimed that Fianna Fail are now "convulsed" with attacking Fine Gael in an effort to distract from the battle his own party is having with Sinn Fein.

He was reacting to a radio interview in which Mr Martin said the Irish people no longer want Enda Kenny as Taoiseach.

Mr Martin also told RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke programme that Fine Gael's tax policies will damage public service.

Speaking in The Netherlands where he is on a trade mission, Mr Kenny responded: "Micheal Martin is a direct link to the party that drove our country off an economic cliff.

"Every single thing that Fianna Fail has done is now a blind of the row they are having with Sinn Fein."

He said the Fine Gael and Labour Party coalition "have a clear plan and a strategy to fulfil the remit given to us by the people to fix our public finances and put the country back to work.

"Fianna Fail has opposed every one of those measures and what they want to do is go back to the same old way where they destroyed public services that we are now rebuilding."

Mr Kenny added: "Fianna Fail's desperation attack is something that is now beginning to convulsed the party where for our point of view were have a ver clear perspective where we want to reduce the taxation burden, create more jobs and then you  can have an engine to drive the economy."

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil leader Martin has insisted that his party can lead the next Government.

Mr Martin said Fianna Fáil can become the largest after the forthcoming election. And he stressed the urgent need to oust Enda Kenny and Fine Gael to restore health and other services.

His comments come just seven weeks after the party’s director of elections Billy Kelleher publicly said he expected Fianna Fáil to win about 40 seats on a good day – vastly short of being the biggest party.

In the very strident interview with RTÉ’s Sean O’Rourke, the Fianna Fáil leader insisted that the opinion polls – which put them below 20pc and close to their score in the 2011 electoral meltdown – were understating the party’s support.

Mr Martin said surveys before the May 2014 general election suggested Fianna Fáil would be in third place. But in fact they emerged as the largest party in local councils with 25pc of the vote and 266 councillors.

He also delivered a scathing verdict on Fine Gael and Enda Kenny. He said they were offering huge tax cuts which would devastate public services.

Already the health services were in chaos and there were not enough council workers to fight against problems like flooding – but the Government were pledging American-style rates of tax.

“When you have US tax rates – you have US inequality,” Mr Martin insisted.

Mr Martin said Labour had failed to put the brakes on Fine Gael in government – as they had promised.

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