SINN Fein leader Gerry Adams has refused to rule out becoming Taoiseach after the next election – after he ruled out Sinn Fein being the junior partner in any potential coalition government.
Mr Adams was speaking to Ivan Yates on Newstalk Breakfast this morning.
He was speaking after an opinion poll in yesterday’s Sunday Independent revealed Sinn Fein is the most popular party in the state.
Despite suggestions that if Sinn Fein led the next government the party would follow a similar arrangement to the north – where party deputy leader Martin McGuinness is deputy first minister – Mr Adams refused to rule out becoming Taoiseach.
“The party will decide that. It was I who nominated Martin (McGuinness) for the job of deputy First Minister. I thought he’d do a better job than me, and my focus is to continue to build Sinn Fein.
“That’s not an issue which is on my radar at the moment. I’m not going to write the type of headline Labour foolishly wrote for Eamon Gilmore prior to the next election. Let the people have their day.
He also ruled out his party being the junior partner in any coalition government.
“We need to get the largest mandate possible. The size of our mandate will determine what influence we will have in forming a government, and determine what strength we have in forming a programme for government.
“I’ve never given a figure in what we are targeting. We’re still a party which are developing, it’s a very hard thing to develop capacity and structures and get funds.
“We certainly won’t go in with anyone as a junior partner. We won’t go in like Labour, seeking a mandate and doing the exact opposite of what they were mandated to do.
“Any promise we make, we’ll keep. We won’t make any promises we can’t keep.”