Fianna Fáil’s continual gravitation towards Sinn Féin will result in disaster if such a Coalition Government ever came about, Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton has warned.
Despite several repeated attempts by Fianna Fáil party leader Micheál Martin to slap down gestures by his party colleagues towards an alliance with Sinn Féin, it is clear that such a coalition occupies the minds of many Fianna Fáil parliamentary party members, Deputy Naughton said today (Tuesday, October 3).
“Once again, Micheál Martin was left having to reject the idea of governance with Sinn Féin again today.
“This is a constant trend since the summer recess with an ever increasing number of Fianna Fáil party members willing to go into business with Sinn Féin.
“Plenty of Fianna Fáil’s Dail deputies are clearly willing to countenance the prospect. Jim O’Callaghan refused to rule out a possible Government supported by Sinn Féin at the weekend.
“His party leader tried to defuse this today but it is clearly an ongoing desire for many within Fianna Fáil despite the protestations of their party leader.”
Referencing recent Fianna Fáil advances to Sinn Féin, Deputy Naughton said: “In August, Darragh O’Brien TD said nothing should be ‘written off’ in terms of a coalition with Sinn Féin.
“Deputy John Brassil ‘wouldn’t rule it out’. Kevin O’Keeffe said ‘the time has come to bite the bullet’ and ‘anything is possible’ after the next election.
“Again Micheál Martin had to come out in September and try to quell these flirtations. He has done so at least four times this year.
“Every time a Fianna Fáil TD flirts with the idea of a Sinn Féin coalition, Mr Martin has to hammer them back into place. How many more times will he have to do so,” Deputy Naughton asked.
“Any Government comprising of Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin together, either in a coalition or in a confidence and supply agreement, would spell disaster for the country.
“It would ruin the good work of Fine Gael in leading us to a position where we are set to have our first balanced Budget for the first time in a decade,” Deputy Naughton said.
“Fine Gael has always been very clear when it comes to Sinn Féin. We will not consider any form of Government with Sinn Féin. They are not fit to govern and the policies of Fine Gael and Sinn Féin bear no relation to each other. Government involves compromise, negotiations and hard work to bring this altogether – Sinn Féin is not capable of this.
“Sinn Féin are interested in populism and an isolationist stance. Fine Gael is a progressive European party which is interested in advancing Ireland’s causes,” Deputy Naughton said.