Micheál Martin has come under increased pressure from his party members, councillors and TDs to halt government formation talks with Fine Gael.
John McGuinness, Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow-Kilkenny, who has often been at odds with his party leader, said on RTÉ’s Today programme with Sarah McInerney, that he would like to see his party in government with Sinn Féin.
He said there was a consensus within membership of the party and their elected TDs that they should speak to Sinn Féin.
“We have three medium parties now in the Dáil and huge economic and health issues and I think they should form a government and address the economic and social issues we’re facing,” Mr McGuinness said.
“I see no reason in the economic circumstances that we shouldn’t have a government made up of those three parties, that’s been my view from the very beginning, and the reason we have no government is because we talk to Fine Gael and the Greens now with nothing emerging.
“It’s clear Sinn Féin are locked out of talks in government because Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have decided to speak to each other rather than the third party the electorate voted for.
“We also said we wouldn’t go into government with Fine Gael, now we’re faced with something completely different.”
Mr McGuinness said that “rather than threaten another election” which he alleges is being whispered about in “the political bubble of Leinster House”, the three parties should develop a programme of government to deal with the issues the country is facing.
“It seems ridiculous we would spend so long talking to two other parties for government, rather than three,” he said.
When asked if his party would accept Mary Lou McDonald as Taoiseach, Mr McGuinness replied: “They’re willing to accept a Taoiseach whose party lost the election, I don’t think that’s acceptable.
“Leo Varadkar opened the door to the Green Party having a term as Taoiseach too – politics has changed considerably and we should listen to the electorate and move on.
“I see no difficult in working with other parties if were serious about getting the country moving again.
“Exclusion does not work and we encouraged reversal of that in the north.
“We have to be straight up with the electorate and follow their decision from polls and form a government, and cut the nonsense.
Likewise, Fianna Fáil Cllr Deirdre Kelly sent a statement to the press on Wednesday afternoon, lamenting her party: “is no longer the party of great leaders like De Valera, Lemass or Lynch.
“It is now a generic remake of the centre left social democratic parties that had flourished, but now die, throughout Europe.”
Ms Kelly, who represents the party on Cork County Council said there “are very genuine reasons for concern about a Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael coalition”, and questions how compatible the two parties would be.
“Fianna Fáil now faces its greatest challenge. It can coalesce with Fine Gael and end up being effectively wiped out at the next election.
“If Fianna Fáil is to survive, the party needs to get back to the ordinary people of Ireland and really listen to them.
“That will not be possible in a coalition agreement with Fine Gael.”
A number of grassroots groups of local Fianna Fáil members have written the the party’s elected representatives and party headquarters in recent weeks in an effort to discourage moves to form a government with Leo Varadkar’s party.
Rumours of a possible leadership against Mr Martin began after the party’s poor performance in the February election, however the leader himself said recently he was not phased by the commentary.
Fred the orator speaks from Delphi! Well done John Mc Guinness for speaking out at last yesterday, but FF need to grow Balls, and take Martin on. This so called Grand Coalition, also known as the three Stooges will not last a year. Eamon Ryan is a nice fellow in private life but in a Politicial sense Ryan is a first class Clown, living on Pluto planet. SF should be at the table, but the Bitterness of Michael Martin locks them out. Respect between leaders is essential yet this link tells us what rests deep in FG heart about the potential of Micheal Martin. https://www.thejournal.ie/varadkar-apology-sinning-priest-martin-micheal-4718666-Jul2019/
1998 Good Friday Agreement and yesterday the Supreme Court unanimously said Gerry Adams was not guilty of tryingto escape on two occasions from the Maze prison, because he (and more than 200 others) should never have been interned in the first instance. Gerry Adams as the Stateman he is has said he does not want compensation. He will be satisfied if there is a Referendum.
For the people in Ireland now we must ask who do we feel will best represent us as a unity Government for the negotiations that will be required for this Referendum to go ahead. I have been reading Jonathan Powell’s book recently “Talking to Terrorists. How to end Conflicts”. I highly recommend it. I have taken a quote from this book but the quote chosen is one selected by Jonathan Powell who quotes David Bohm, a physicist. When you read this I think you may have a change of view and see John McGuinness as Taoiseach and Mary as Taoiseach in rotation and of course Leo Varadkar. These are wise words.
A debate is oppositional – two sides oppose each other and attempt to prove each other wrong. A dialogue involves two or more sides working towards a common understanding. In a debate, winning is the goal; in a dialogue, finding common ground is. In a dialogue, one listens to the other side in order to understand, find meaning, find agreement. In debate one listens to the other to find flaws and counter its arguments. Dialogue can change a viewpoint; debate reinforces it. Dialogue reveals assumptions for re-evaluation; debate defends them as truth. Dialogue creates an open minded attitude; debate closes the mind.
Mr John McGuinness and Mary Lou McDonald – in our history of centenary years, is this not your time to lead our Island nation forward.