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First cracks in FF/FG deal as Mayo councillors oppose move

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During a conference call with Minister of State Helen McEntee this morning, the Mayo councillors said they will not support any move to form a coalition with their rivals in Fianna Fáil

During a conference call with Minister of State Helen McEntee this morning, the Mayo councillors said they will not support any move to form a coalition with their rivals in Fianna Fáil

During a conference call with Minister of State Helen McEntee this morning, the Mayo councillors said they will not support any move to form a coalition with their rivals in Fianna Fáil

Fine Gael’s Mayo County Councillors have unanimously opposed entering into government with Fianna Fáil as the first cracks emerge in plans to form a ‘Grand Coalition’.

During a conference call with Minister of State Helen McEntee this morning, the Mayo councillors said they will not support any move to form a coalition with their rivals in Fianna Fáil.

The ten councillors on the call with the minister spoke against the deal which is set to be agreed by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today.

The teleconference call with Ms McEntee followed a separate online meeting on Bank Holiday Monday where the Mayo councillors decided they would not support the landmark agreement. All 11 of Fine Gael’s councillors in Mayo took part in yesterday’s meeting.

The councillors are due to hold a conference call later this evening to discuss the outcome of the meeting with Minister McEntee .

“It’s madness – we came third in the election so why would we go into government,” one councillor said. “If you come third in the All Ireland you don’t lift the trophy,” he added.

Another councillor said: “Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Social Democrats and Greens all wanted us out of government so now they can go off and form a government.”

Senior Fine Gael politicians have been tasked with ringing councillors to garner the view of grassroots members as they prepare to sign off on a deal with Fianna Fáil.

Those on the call with Ms McEntee said she “wasn’t trying to sell the deal” but rather get the views of councillors towards the proposed arrangement with Fianna Fáil.

Fine Gael sources say they expect a number of other councils to raise objections over the coming weeks.

Mr Varadkar and Mr Martin are due to meet today to sign off on a policy framework document which will then be given to their parliamentary parties to discuss before being sent to other parties and Independents interested in entering government.

The deal also has to be voted on by the memberships of both parties.

Online Editors