Friday 25 May 2018

'Even if Adams goes, FF won't work with Sinn Féin' - Martin

Micheál Martin: ‘Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin are incompatible’in. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Micheál Martin: ‘Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin are incompatible’in. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A change in the leadership of Sinn Féin would make no difference because TDs in the party parrot Gerry Adams's agenda, Micheál Martin has claimed.

The Fianna Fáil leader said he will not do business with Sinn Féin after the next election even if Mary Lou McDonald becomes leader in the interim.

"It is very clear whatever Gerry says, Mary Lou will say. It is fact," Mr Martin said.

Although a number of Fianna Fáil TDs have previously spoken about the possibility of entering a coalition with Sinn Féin, Mr Martin said this will not be an option.

"The vast majority of the party support our position, which was adopted by the parliamentary party to oppose going into government with Sinn Féin.

"The feedback I have been getting from my comments during summer has been overwhelming in that respect," he said.

Speaking in Longford, where Fianna Fáil held its end-of-summer think-in, Mr Martin said Sinn Féin's attitude towards the "savage murder" of sheep farmer Tom Oliver shows why the parties are "incompatible".

Mr Adams has said it "would be totally and absolutely counterproductive" to jail the Louth man's killers.

Mr Oliver was abducted from his home in 1991 before being tortured and murdered by the IRA.

"For some members, the position adopted by Gerry Adams in relation to the cold case review by gardaí in the Tom Oliver case has really brought it [Sinn Féin's unsuitability for government] home to them," Mr Martin said.

Mr Adams has indicated he will seek to be re-elected as president of Sinn Féin for a 34th successive year in November but will outline his plans to step down afterwards.

Asked whether a change of leader would influence Fianna Fáil's view of the party as a potential coalition partner, Mr Martin noted that after Mr Adams's comments about the Oliver case, Eoin Ó Broin and Mary Lou McDonald "doubled down".

"There is a sense that nobody at all will disagree with Gerry Adams," he said.

In a statement, Mr Adams questioned why Fianna Fáil was continuing to prop up the Fine Gael-led Government.

"This is something Teachta Martin should consider instead of constantly bashing Sinn Féin in his statements and speeches," he said.

Irish Independent

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