Who takes over if Micheal Martin dies? 'Robust discussion' at FF private meeting
A "robust conversation" took place today at a private meeting of the Fianna Fail front bench over who should take over from leader Micheal Martin should he die.
At the weekly meeting at Leinster House, party TDs were meeting ahead of this weekend's Ard Fheis at which the rules as to how the leader are to be changed.
This is to give greater power to ordinary members of the party as to who would become leader.
However, amid some laughter, Laois Offaly TD Sean Fleming called for clarity as to what would happen under the new rules would Mr Martin or any successor tragically die suddenly in office.
"What should happen should the leader die in office, retire or be removed quickly? " Mr Fleming asked at the meeting.
Mr Fleming called for some mechanism for the parliamentary party to elect someone quickly without the need of going through an electoral college process.
He cited the death of former British Labour Party leader John Smith in 1994 and that there should be scope for the party to move quickly.
Sources at the meeting said Mr Martin seemed to consider the point to be well made.
But after Mr Fleming spoke, other members of the party asked was there scope to elect a deputy leader.
At this point, outspoken TD John McGuinness said he was willing to offer himself as a deputy leader, to some laughter from his colleagues, sources at the meeting has said.