Sunday 22 April 2018

Roisin Shortall critical of Fine Gael and calls for public to support the Social Democrats

Roisin Shortall. Photo: Tom Burke
Roisin Shortall. Photo: Tom Burke

John Brennan

The Social Democrats co-leader Roisin Shortall has said that there is a reason no Fine Gael government has ever been re-elected and urged the public to support the fledgling party at the polls this Friday.

Speaking outside Leinster House in Dublin city centre this morning, flanked by fellow Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy and several party candidates, Ms Shortall was critical of Fine Gael.

"I think it is important to point out the fact that Fine Gael have never re elected to government in this country, and there is a reason for that.

"People don't like the type of society Fine Gael are working towards - it's a divided society, that's what has been created over the past five years," she added.

The party have insisted that they are hopeful of securing at least seven seats in the general election this Friday.

Today they called on the electorate to turn their goodwill into seats for the party urging them to support the 14 Social Democrats at the polls.

Ms Shortall added, "I believe the government parties have seriously misjudged the mood of the electorate. They thought it was a matter of just saying 'we'll keep the recovery going' when most people were saying 'what recovery?'"

Agreeing with these sentiments was party co-leader, Catherine Murphy who said that people in Ireland want a fair and equal society and they recognised that the Social Democrats were trying to achieve this.

"You can feel it on the ground, in relation to the reaction to the recognition to the party and to the candidates and it's all down to the electorate to support our 14 candidates," Ms Murphy said.

After the election the party are planning to play significant role in the next Dail, whether that be in Government or in opposition.

On suggestions of a potential Fianna Fáil, Labour, Renua Ireland and Social Democrats coalition  Ms Shortall smiled saying, "well I think that would be a strange combination."

Before adding, "we've said from the start, we're not interested in more of the same, we will only consider participating in a government if that government is going to bring the country in a new direction."

Meanwhile, the topic of the RTE leaders debate was discussed, in particular the Taoiseach's apology regarding the McNulty scandal with Ms Murphy criticising the lack of accountability.

"It really drives people nuts, there's never any consequences and part of the reason there is a process is that the process can be used in a way that builds confidence.

"Repeatedly we've seen the process is bye passed... That is what's ruining trust - it's the politics for the few," she added.

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