FF votes against Sinn Féin coalition
Fianna Fáil has voted not to enter a coalition with Sinn Féin under any circumstances after a blistering speech in which a TD accused some colleagues of being "apologists" for Gerry Adams's party.
Just two members voted against the motion on the first night of Fianna Fáil's Árd Fheis in the RDS. Members also voted in favour of contesting the next Presidential election and objected to the imposition of gender quotas.
The party gathering saw Meath West TD Shane Cassells hit out at TDs who have repeatedly opened the door to doing business with Sinn Féin.
"The apologists for Sinn Féin in our own party would want to wake up and smell the coffee. Because in 2011 when we were on our knees these guys were waiting to put their boots on our throats," he said.
Mr Cassells, a first-time TD, cited the recent digs for IRA victims Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee outside Navan. "I make no apologies for taking a hard-line stance and ruling out doing any sort of a deal with the Shinners," he said.
Mr Cassells said the party needed to rid itself of talk of coalescing "with those that would ultimately seek to destroy us".
"For all the talk of this party being some reformed, cuddly organisation with their leader tweeting about their teddy bear and doing Pilates with Leo, you don't have to scratch the surface too far to uncover the real serpent," Mr Cassells said.