Tuesday 23 January 2018

Micheál Martin dismisses suggestions he'd serve as ‘rotating Taoiseach’ in FG/FF coalition

Micheál Martin and Enda Kenny
Micheál Martin and Enda Kenny
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Micheál Martin has dismissed suggestions he would serve as a ‘rotating Taoiseach’ in a Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil coalition.

Former Fianna Fáil junior minister Conor Lenihan suggested Mr Martin should demand to hold the Taoiseach’s office for a period if a Grand Coalition was formed with Fine Gael after the General Election.

However, speaking outside Ballyroan Community Centre in the Dublin South West constituency, Mr Martin said: “It’s not a consideration”.

“I know Conor has come late into the campaign in terms of the article he has written but I wouldn’t see it as a practical possibility,” he added.

Mr Martin said recent opinion polls showing a surge in his popularity tested his “general scepticism” of public surveys.

“I can’t turn around now and say all of a sudden they have become right. They’re volatile, they go up and they go down, I know that,” he added.

Read more: Who would you like to see as the country's next Taoiseach? Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin tie in the polls

However, he said the poll, which showed him with a 54pc public satisfaction rating, may be due to the threatening election strategies used by other parties.

“The other campaigns went awry in terms there was a lot of threatening going on. People don’t like that. There was a lot saying ‘you better vote for us or everything will fall apart, there will be chaos,’” he said.

Mr Martin also conceded people have not forgotten he served in Cabinet during the economic collapse and said he still has a lot of work to do to win back the public’s trust.

“I don’t think people have forgotten anything. I think people are very focused on their experiences and they are looking to politicians in terms of solutions to that and I would also say, and allowing for that poll, I am under no illusions,” he said.

“Let’s be honest people are wary of politicians bringing promises. We have a lot of work to do and I have a lot of work to do to ensure trust with the Irish people and regain trust with the Irish people,” he added.

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