Jim O’Callaghan, may have Lost his Nerve, but he has Backed Down, in Relation to his Supreme Commander Martin; Barry Cowen, Come in Please?

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O'Callaghan No Confidence Martin
  • 12th July 2021

Jim O’Callaghan won’t sign for motion of no confidence in Micheal Martin

Ref article: 11/07/2021

Fianna Fail TD Jim O’Callaghan won’t sign for a motion of no confidence in party leader Micheal Martin, but he doesn’t see Mr Martin as leader for much longer.

Deputy O’Callaghan said he hasn’t been approached to support a motion of no confidence in the Taoiseach and if he was, he wouldn’t give his support.

The motion has been touted following Fianna Fail‘s dismal display in the Dublin Bay South by-election and underperformance in last year’s general election.

Jim O'Callaghan
Fianna Fail TD Jim O’Callaghan won’t sign for a motion of no confidence in party leader Micheal Martin, but he doesn’t see Mr Martin as leader for much longer. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Fellow Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen has called for a special meeting to discuss the issues with the by-election and general election performance.

Mr O’Callaghan said that Fianna Fail isn’t ‘connecting with the electorate’ and there needs to be a discussion about why that is the case, but he doesn’t think it’s down to any one person within the party.

Speaking on RTE Radio 1’s This Week programme, he replied when asked if he had been approached about the motion: ‘No. But anyone who thinks Fianna Fail’s problems have been caused by one person or can be solved by one person is missing the point.

Deputy O’Callaghan said he hasn’t been approached to support a motion of no confidence in the Taoiseach and if he was, he wouldn’t give his support. Pic: Gareth Chaney / Collins Photos Dublin

‘We need to reflect much more deeply on issues concerning the relevance and direction of the party.’

When pressed whether he would offer his signature to a motion of no confidence, he added: ‘That hasn’t happen and I wouldn’t’.

Mr O’Callaghan was director of elections for his party in this by-election, and he said he won’t accept ‘exclusive responsibility’ for their candidate Deirdre Conroy’s performance.

The motion has been touted following Fianna Fail’s dismal display in the Dublin Bay South by-election and underperformance in last year’s general election. Pic: Collins

On the topic of when it will be time for Micheal Martin to surrender his leadership, Mr O’Callaghan said he thought it was ‘unlikely’ that Mr Martin would continue past end of the current Government’s full term.

Well if it goes full term, we’re talking about 2025,’ he said, ‘and obviously I’m conscious that Micheal Martin doesn’t want to say anything that can undermine his current position and I don’t want to contribute to that, but I would have thought that it was unlikely that Micheal Martin would be leading Fianna Fail into an election, that’s just my own view.’

The Dublin Bay South TD said he would like to become leader of the party some day and he has been open about that.

On the topic of when it will be time for Micheal Martin surrender his leadership, Mr O’Callaghan said he thought it was ‘unlikely’ that Mr Martin would continue past end of the current Government’s full term. Pic: Viv Murphy
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He continued: ‘I answer questions when they’re put to me by journalists. I answered questions before when I was asked if I was interested in being the next leader of Fianna Fail.

‘I am. I said that. I’m not going to rule myself out of that. It would be a great privilege. I believe it is an honour and a great privilege that every member of the Fianna Fail parliamentary party shares with me.

‘I’m not going to do anything just for the sake of undermining the leader and give the impression to the media that there’s something going on when I don’t believe there is.’

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