'Voters say they'll leave if Adams is Taoiseach' - Reilly
Fine Gael deputy leader James Reilly has launched a stinging attack on Sinn Féin, warning of an exodus of capital and people from the country if the party came into power.
Dr Reilly accused Sinn Féin of "promulgating" policies which are "utterly fantasy", and which he says would "wreck the country."
And the Children's Minister turned the screw on Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, saying that voters have told him that they would emigrate if the Louth TD ever became Taoiseach: "Well I've lost count of the amount of people who told me at the doors that they'd leave the country if Gerry Adams was ever Taoiseach," Dr Reilly told the Irish Independent.
"The financial approach and the policies that Sinn Féin are promulgating are utterly fantasy and they will wreck this country and it will cause a flight of capital. I'd mentioned earlier on the importance of sentiment.
"I think money would leave this country along with an awful lot of people if they thought Sinn Féin were going to be in power," the Dublin Fingal TD added.
Sinn Féin has consistently dismissed criticism of its economic policies, which include a third rate of tax on income above €100,000 and the introduction of a so-called wealth tax.
But Dr Reilly's remarks illustrate Fine Gael's current electoral strategy of targeting Sinn Féin over its economic policies, rather than over the party's alleged links to the IRA. And sources in Fine Gael are now saying that they are content to allow the Labour Party and Fianna Fáil to highlight the recent controversies that have engulfed Sinn Féin because the parties are all competing for support from the same pool of voters.