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Ireland 'can't afford tug-of-war coalition', says Martin

Ireland cannot afford a tug-of-war Fine Gael/Labour coalition, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has claimed.

Mr Martin launched his party's election campaign by highlighting the divisions between the two main Opposition parties tipped to take over the Government.

"The fundamental problem with the plans that Fine Gael spoke of yesterday is that the Labour Party, their prospective partner, is opposed to so many of them," he said.

"Ireland cannot afford a tug of war government."

Mr Martin said he would not "sugar coat" the extent of the crisis the country was in but claimed Fianna Fail could lead Ireland to a better future.

The former government minister said it was time for a new approach as it had become clear in recent years "that the old way of doing political business simply doesn't work".

Mr Martin said people deserve plans that will work in the real world and not political promises that only work in opinion polls and focus groups.

Fianna Fail is to unveil its manifesto next Monday as well as what it calls an economic blueprint to create jobs and inspire hope for the future.

"People are suffering - but the only way to a better future is to honestly address the challenge and not make things worse with conflicting policies and empty promises," Mr Martin said.

PA Media