Saturday 16 February 2019

Fianna Fáil and SDLP fall short of merger in 'partnership'

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Fianna Fáil TDs and senators have signed off on a "partnership" with Northern Ireland's SDLP.

Under the plan, Micheál Martin's party won't run candidates in the North, but will canvass for the SDLP in the upcoming local elections.

The arrangement is set to be announced by Mr Martin and SDLP leader Colum Eastwood in Belfast tomorrow.

A proposed merger between the parties had been the subject of reports, but the partnership that's to be announced will fall short of that. Sources said it would involve the two parties working together in a more intense way on policy, with Brexit identified as the most pressing cross-Border issue.

The plan for the partnership was formally endorsed at a private meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party last night.

However, it is understood there won't be Fianna Fáil candidates in Northern Ireland in the upcoming local elections.

The SDLP is said to want to run its own candidates and many have been selected.

Irish Independent

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