Sunday 15 December 2019

Election a choice between FG and SF, says Taoiseach

An Taoiseach Enda. Photo: El Keegan
An Taoiseach Enda. Photo: El Keegan

Niall O'Connor, Fionnan Sheahan and Ralph Riegel

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has warned voters that they face a clear choice between a Fine Gael-led government or one which has the potential to "wreck every economic ad- vance that we've made".

Mr Kenny has become the most senior government figure to date to predict that Sinn Fein will emerge as the biggest threat to his party's chances of a securing a second consecutive term in government.

The Fine Gael leader said the public need to reflect on whether they want to scupper the growth experienced by the economy in recent years.

"The choice will be between Fine Gael and a group, possibly led by Sinn Fein," Mr Kenny said.

"I think people need to reflect on that very carefully. Do they want responsibility and growth and prosperity and jobs in government? Or do they want a government put together that has the potential to absolutely wreck every economic advance that we've made?"

Mr Kenny made the comments in the Isle of Man where he was attending a meeting of the British-Irish Council.

Speaking to the media following the event, the Taoiseach completely ruled out entering government with Fianna Fail.

Despair

"Fianna Fail have no place in joining with Fine Gael in government. They absolutely wrecked this economy, put negative equity on every house in the country, 250,000 jobs gone, emigration, disappointment, disillusion and despair."

But it was the growing threat from Sinn Fein that sparked responses from several cabinet ministers yesterday.

Tanaiste Joan Burton warned Gerry Adams's party aren't interested in coalition Government in the Republic as she vowed there will not be a General Election next year.

The Labour Party leader said she expects the coalition administration with Fine Gael to serve its full term with a General Election to be held in early 2016.

But she slated Sinn Fein's suitability for Government and accused the party of engaging in a series of political stunts.

"I would imagine that, from this point in time, and judging by their behaviour currently, SF aren't particularly interested in being involved in Government in the Republic," Ms Burton said.

"In the context of Sinn Fein and the kind of stunts that they have been pulling on a regular basis to disrupt the operation of the Dail, I mean, the question arises, were they in Government would they constantly have to be walking out on themselves?"

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said he would favour a new FG/Lab coalition after the next election but Ms Burton refused to confirm whether she will agree a voting pact.

Irish Independent

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