Thursday 22 March 2018

Adams insists election isn't three-way contest

Elaine Keogh

SINN Fein president Gerry Adams yesterday clashed with Labour leader Eamon Gilmore, as he insisted that the general election was not just a three-way contest.

Mr Gilmore had claimed that an Irish Independent poll showed the election was now between three main parties. Mr Adams retorted that people talking to the media could get a "rush of blood to the head".

The Sinn Fein leader, who is seeking a seat in Louth, made his remarks after the poll showed a 4pc drop in support for Fine Gael and a 3pc increase for Sinn Fein.

Referring to Mr Gilmore's comments, he said: "I don't want to be too provocative in what I say but there is a certain arrogance in all of that.

"The people haven't cast a vote yet, there hasn't been one single vote cast."

Mr Adams continued his bitter criticism of Labour, hitting out at what he said was the party's plan for "a Fine Gael government with Labour in it".

"It doesn't make sense to me how any party which is progressive could have a vision which is as narrow and as stunted as putting FG into power.

"That will not make any change or any difference. What I would argue very strongly is that there is for the first time the possibility of having a government which has neither Fine Gael nor Fianna Fail in it. All of that is business for after the election, not before it."


Speaking in Dundalk yesterday morning, where he hung up a poster of himself in the town centre, Mr Adams said Sinn Fein would not be a party to "tie" itself on to another party as the Green Party and Labour had done in the past.

However, he said Sinn Fein would be open to agreeing a programme of government.

Mr Adams declined to say how many seats his party expects to win in the next Dail. He said its 40 candidates would be fighting to secure a seat in each of the 37 constituencies in which they are standing.

The Sinn Fein leader said the party would not put Fianna Fail or Fine Gael into Government, nor "tie ourselves on like the Greens or Labour have done in other decades".

He continued: "We want to bring about change and if we can agree a programme for Government, that is fair enough. If we can't, that is fair enough as well. We will continue to be agents for change."

Mr Adams said Fine Gael and Fianna Fail were natural bedfellows.

"I know expediency rules and if they need us they will come looking for us," he said.

"We know what it's like to be in government, we are in government in the North.

"We know the difficulties and the challenges which that presents but we are only in there to bring about change.

"We only want to be in government here if we have a mandate."

Irish Independent

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