Sunday 16 June 2019

Fine Gael ban incoming councillors from 'power-sharing' agreements with Sinn Féin on councils

Fine Gael General Secretary Tom Curran. Photo: Tom Burke
Fine Gael General Secretary Tom Curran. Photo: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

FINE Gael’s incoming councillors have been banned by party headquarters from doing business with Sinn Féin.

In a letter issued to party officials last night, Secretary General Tom Curran set guidelines for post-election negotiations with other parties.

He stresses that newly elected councillors should be fully included in the process and brought “up to speed” on the internal workings of such alliances.

Among the guidelines, seen by Independent.ie, is warning that entering into power-sharing with Sinn Féin “is not allowed”.

Tom Curran, Fine Gael's general secretary Picture: Tom Burke
Tom Curran, Fine Gael's general secretary Picture: Tom Burke

The only exceptions are situations where the D’Hondt system is in place or an arrangement already exists.

Sources say the issue of deals with Sinn Féin was discussed by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fine Gael ministers at a meeting before the letter was sent out.

“There was a clear view that we won’t do business with them under any circumstances,” a source said.

Mr Curran’s letter was sent to party chairperson and whips around the country.

It says that elected councillors should meet next Monday to discuss forming alliances or political agreements “for the purpose of controlling City/Council Councils”.

The guidelines state that no individual councillor should take part in talks with other parties without the knowledge of the full council group.

“In the event of any deal being done with other groups or individuals the detail should be written down and agreed by the Fine Gael group,” the guidelines state.

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