Saturday 21 April 2018

Martin backed over refusal to link up with SF

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin Photo: Tony Gavin
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin Photo: Tony Gavin
John Downing

John Downing

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is aiming to copper-fasten his "no coalition with Sinn Féin" stance following controversial comments by Gerry Adams about renewed investigations into an IRA murder.

Mr Martin has repeatedly totally ruled out sharing government with Sinn Féin after the next election. But several of his TDs had said Dáil arithmetic after the next election would be a major determining factor.

The Sinn Féin president reignited controversy about the IRA's murderous past this week by saying it would be "counterproductive" to jail the killers of Louth farmer Tom Oliver.

Mr Adams also ruled out involving himself in a new investigation into the 1991 atrocity and insisted he had no knowledge of the case beyond what he had read at the time.

The Fianna Fáil leader said Mr Adams "was primarily an apologist for the IRA".

He followed on his criticisms yesterday by castigating Sinn Féin for abruptly ruling out an offer of power-sharing talks from Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster.

Mr Martin's hard-line position eschewing coalition with Sinn Féin was strongly endorsed by three leading Fianna Fáil deputies. Éamon Ó Cuív, who in the past advocated closer relations with Sinn Féin, said there was nothing to discuss.

Willie O'Dea said Mr Adams's comments again showed that he and his party had "a completely different and unacceptable code of political values".

Louth TD Declan Breathnach said even a change of Sinn Féin leadership would not help, as many "hard-liners" persisted.

Irish Independent

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