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Mary Lou McDonald insists it's still possible to form government without FF and FG

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Mary Lou McDonald. Picture: Justin Farrelly

Mary Lou McDonald. Picture: Justin Farrelly

Mary Lou McDonald. Picture: Justin Farrelly

SINN Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has insisted it's still possible to form a government without Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael but admitted the numbers make this "tricky".

Ms McDonald's party was accused of giving up on government formation talks after Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin said he didn't think it was possible to form a government without the support of the other two large parties.

Ms McDonald today said that talks with smaller parties and independents will continue this week with a view to delivering a government of "change".

She said: "There is undoubtedly a solid block of TDs for change for a new government. I remain very determined that we deliver that government."

She said they need to "knuckle down" on policy issues like housing and reducing the State pension age to 65.

"We are still very determined that an alternative and a new government of change can be created. And we will intensify our efforts this week when we have conversations with other parties and with Independents to make that so."

Asked if she was saying a Sinn Féin government without either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael is still possible, she said: "All options are still on the table".

She added: "but we're all able to count, we're able to add, and we're able to subtract, so I think we have recognised that the mathematics are tricky.

"And that's okay. That's one consideration. But the bigger consideration is policy and ideas and delivery.

"So it's game on as far as I am concerned" and she said Sinn Féin would continue conversations with the other parties on what a potential Programme for Government would look like.

She said: "There's the challenge in this you know for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

"They need to decide, do they want to be part of this change, do they want to facilitate this change, or do they want to block change."

Ms McDonald claimed both parties were standing on the side-lines and that their instinct is to "hunker down" and "prevent change".

She said she doesn't think there's much public appetite for an election.

"I want to see a good, stable strong government that can deliver on housing, on health, can deliver on the issues that matter to people. But if there is an election, I mean we'll go and we'll fight the election," Ms McDonald said.

Online Editors