Sunday 25 February 2018

McGuinness arrival leaves Martin with a dilemma

The Fianna Fail leader is doing nobody any favours with his indecision and waffling, writes Celia Larkin

MICHEAL Martin looks like a man trying to knit an Aran sweater out of overcooked spaghetti. It would be fun to watch if it wasn't so tragic. For Fianna Fail and for the man himself.

Crisis meetings running for hours. Leaks and splits. The party's been through this before, most notably in Charlie Haughey's time. Except that in CJ's time, Fianna Fail had something to fight over, and enough numbers to create two or even three mutually opposing teams. At the moment, if you put all its elected members into a scullery, it wouldn't be that crowded. And there's nothing to fight over. The presidency should have served as a golden opportunity for Fianna Fail to let Fine Gael and Labour spend a fortune fighting each other while the new minority party gets its act together. Now, it's difficult to lead a party that's diminished, distraught and in disarray. But that's Micheal Martin's job: to command attention and respect. To be decisive. In control. With Sinn Fein constantly nipping at his heels, the kind of -- dare I use the word -- 'waffling' he employed in the last 10 days when asked about support for David Norris has done neither himself nor his party any favours.

Having been burned badly in the Gay Byrne debacle, it seems his confidence is gone when it comes to nominations for the presidency.

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