Sunday 17 December 2017

Micheál Martin: ‘Fianna Fáil was not given a mandate to work with Fine Gael’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin has said he was not given a mandate to allow Fine Gael back into government.

As the Dáil prepared to debate nominations for Taoiseach, Mr Martin said the media were 2jumping way ahead of yourselves” by talking about a ‘grand coalition’ between his party and Enda Kenny.

“Our objective in terms of the present situation is that the people voted for change. They rejected this government emphatically. That’s very clear from looking in the chamber today where you see the physical manifestation from the result,” he said.

“We didn’t get a mandate to go into government with Fine Gael and we certainly didn’t get a mandate to put Fine Gael back into government.”

Pressed on whether he was open to talks with Mr Kenny about forming a new government Mr Martin said he wanted to focus on trying to compile a government made up of Fianna Fail, smaller parties and independents.

“There’s a media obsession with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. The people have voted a different kind of a Dáil in.

“The people didn’t vote for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil and I think we must acknowledge that.

“They did not vote for the return of this government. It’s our job to work in terms of interpreting and reflecting that vote now,” he said.

After today’s Dáil sitting Mr Martin intends to appoint a team that will “intensify negotiations” with independents and smaller parties.

“The old style adversarial politics will have to be significantly modified in the new configuration and in the new composition of the Dáil.”

He added: “We have to work with the choice of the people and we’re very clear that means intensive negotiations with independents and smaller parties with a view to bringing about an alternative government.”

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