Tuesday 24 April 2018

'The spinning of things has to stop to move things forward' - Micheal Martin tells Enda Kenny

Acting Taoiseach said he wants to be "as flexible and as generous as possible" in this evening's talks

Party leaders Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin
Party leaders Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin

Cormac McQuinn and Barry Lennon

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he wants to be "as flexible and as generous as possible" in this evening's talks with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

He was speaking in the Dáil after both party leaders lost votes to become the next Taoiseach.

Mr Kenny said he invited Mr Martin "to have a conversation this evening" and added "I expect that Deputy Martin will oblige in that regard as to how we might have an initial discussion about how to put a stable, effective and lasting government in place for the country".

Mr Martin meanwhile, said he has no problem meeting Mr Kenny but warned against "spin" regarding the two parties' contacts.

Mr Kenny noted the talks with Independent TDs of recent weeks and said that it identified issues that are important to them and added that "everybody knows we face a range of important challenges".

He highlighted the homelessness crisis as well as issues in health, education and justice.

Read more: Labour to seek meetings with Soc Dems/Greens with view to forming ‘Progressive Left Alliance’

Mr Kenny addressed the Fianna Fáil leader saying: "I would say to Deputy Martin whom I know for very many years that I want to be as flexible and as generous in negotiating as possible...

"It is of course not just about numbers but it's also about stability and builidng our relationship of trust.

"This is a centenary year here and obviously it's an important symbolic year that in the decision that the people have given which is quite complex.

"It's right and proper that the cards that they have dealt and that the spectrum of responsibility and politics that they have voted for that that be reflected in genuine attempts to put a government together that will set about dealing with the many challenges that we face now."

He said it is the reponsibility of those elected to put together a government and he said he didn't know if one will formed in the next week or ten days.

"I hope that the discussions that I hope to instigate this evening with Deputy Martin will lead us very much in that direction and hopefully to a conclusion," Mr Kenny added.

Mr Martin told the Dáil that he will meet Mr Kenny but that "spin" has to stop to “move things forward”.

“I have no problem meeting you at all Taoiseach but I don't want to read about in the newspapers,” he said.

“The briefings and the spinning of things have to stop Taoiseach to move things forward"

He also hit out acting Tánaiste, the Labour leader Joan Burton, for reverting back to a traditional animosity in voting against him, while abstaining during Mr Kenny's vote.

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