Tuesday 23 January 2018

Micheál Martin rules out coalition with Fine Gael or Sinn Féin after next election

Speaking ahead of the party's Ard Fheis in Dublin

Pictured at the opening of the 78ú Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis at the Royal Dublin Society main hall was Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin TD. Picture Conor McCabe Photography
Pictured at the opening of the 78ú Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis at the Royal Dublin Society main hall was Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin TD. Picture Conor McCabe Photography
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has categorically ruled out going into coalition with Fine Gael or Sinn Féin after the next election.

Ahead of the party’s Ard Fheis in Dublin, Mr Martin said Fianna Fáil do not see Gerry Adams as a suitable partner in either government or a confidence and supply arrangement.

He said Fianna Fáil intend to the be the biggest party after the election and will then explore ways of forming a government based on the Dáil arithmetic.

“My position is well known in relation to the Sinn Féin party. I have repeatedly said I will not be going into coalition with them and the Fianna Fáil party will not be,” he said.

Members of the party from all over the country will vote on a motion tonight which states that the party should work with Sinn Féin “under no circumstances”.

Mr Martin said he would back the motion. Asked why he supports the idea of Sinn Féin being in government in Northern Ireland but not in the Republic he said the context is “not comparable”.

Around 4,000 party members will gather in Dublin over the weekend with much focus on the next election.

Mr Martin said the mood is “quiet satisfaction that we’re still on the road to recovery and that at the last general election we made a sizeable leap forward from 20 seats to 45 in the Dáil”.

In relation to the next election, he said: “I do believe that in the aftermath of the next general election no one party will win it in that sense.

“But I think we can again increase our support quite substantially and be the lead party in the next government. That is our intention.”

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