Martin unlikely to lead Fianna Fáil into next election, says Haughey
Fianna Fáil TD Seán Haughey expects a leadership contest ahead of another general election. Photo: Frank McGrath
January 23 2021 02:30 AM
The son of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey has said that he does not think Micheál Martin will lead Fianna Fáil into the next election.
Having not spoken publicly about the issue before, TD for Dublin Bay North Seán Haughey told the Irish Independent he expects a leadership contest ahead of another general election.
“He’s been a leader for a long time, as you say 10 years, and politics is very fast moving nowadays, the pace has really increased,” Mr Haughey said.
“To a certain extent, the decision is his, but I don’t think that he will lead the party into the next general election for one reason or another.”
The veteran backbench TD said that last year’s general election was a “terrible disappointment”.
“I just feel that the party wasn’t sufficiently prepared for the general election last year and we had a very bad result. I suppose the leader has to take some responsibility for that and the team around him,” he said.
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“It’s certainly a strong possibility that we will have a leadership contest before the next general election,” he said.
Mr Haughey added that the party has an “identity” issue, due to the “polarisation” of politics globally and in Ireland.
However, other backbench TDs said that the party should focus on “getting the job done”. “It would be churlish and disrespectful of people within Fianna Fáil to be even contemplating the leadership of the party at a time when people are dying and struggling to breathe,” said Longford Westmeath TD Joe Flaherty.
His sentiments were echoed by Dublin North West TD Paul McAuliffe.
Dún Laoghaire TD Cormac Devlin said there is ‘no vacancy’ for the leadership position. “I don’t think the public want to see any further upheaval or disruption to politics. He’s the Taoiseach of the country, he should be squarely focused on that.”