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Parties left red-faced over signing up to election pledge


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Micheal Martin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Micheal Martin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Micheal Martin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin was left red-faced - and green-facing - after apparently accidentally committing to an 8pc yearly reduction in carbon emissions - the most ambitious target of any main party.

He also signed up, seemingly unintentionally, to an emergency rent freeze which he has spent recent days dismissing as a constitutional impossibility, and to scrapping the direct provision system.

The would-be Taoiseach wasn't alone in pledging radical changes far ahead of party policy. Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan also signed the pledge, as did her Fine Gael colleagues, TDs Kate O'Connell and Marcella Corcoran Kennedy and Senators Catherine Noone and Neale Richmond.

They were among 84 Dáil hopefuls who by lunchtime yesterday had signed the National Women's Council of Ireland's (NWCI) election manifesto which asks candidates to commit to key actions to make Ireland a better country for women and for society at large.

Sarah Clarkin of the NWCI said the online manifesto was first issued for the 2016 General Election and was intended to help voters check where candidates stood on critical campaign issues.

"All the pledges are clearly listed under 10 headings so any candidate reading it would know what it contains," she said.

A Fianna Fáil spokesperson said: "The policy objectives of the NWCI manifesto are objectives that we share, subject to the constitutional, legal, and fiscal challenges faced by any government. Fianna Fáil's manifesto will be published today and is the definitive statement of Fianna Fáil policy."

Ms Madigan's office was contacted but did not responded to questions.

Fine Gael's climate action plan will only achieve a 2pc yearly emissions reduction.

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