Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Toibin tapped up by Fianna Fail

Peadar Toibin has twice been tapped up by rivals in Fianna Fail
Peadar Toibin has twice been tapped up by rivals in Fianna Fail

A Sinn Fein politician sanctioned for not supporting Ireland abortion laws has twice been tapped up by rivals in Fianna Fail.

Peadar Toibin, a TD in Meath West, denied preparing to jump ship and said he would be back in Gerry Adams' party when his suspension is over in January.

He was barred from the parliamentary party for six months after he refused to support landmark abortion laws earlier this year.

"My ultimate goal politically is exactly the same as Sinn Fein's," Mr Toibin said.

"There is one variance in our views and that concerns abortion, which everyone knows about.

"But my political views are entirely incompatible with Fianna Fail's."

Mr Toibin said Fianna Fail was "doing the rounds" to get new members and that there have been two attempts to get him into the party.

He said he was approached by the party about a month ago.

He was a Fianna Fail supporter during his student days at University College Dublin, but joined Sinn Fein 17 years ago.

The TD said his views are fundamentally different to those of the Micheal Martin-led party.

He said his ultimate goal politically is to achieve full independence of Ireland north and south of the border, free from any control in London and Brussels.

He described his views as much more "Euro-critical" than those of Fianna Fail, he said.

Mr Toibin said: "I would also favour a Nordic economy, with more progressive regard for the distribution of wealth and services."

He also pledged his unwavering support to Sinn Fein president Mr Adams, who sparked revulsion last week when he claimed two RUC officers murdered by the IRA in 1989 were responsible for their deaths.

The republican leader insisted his comments that Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan had a "laissez-faire" disregard for their own security reflected those of the Smithwick report, which raised concerns about the men's security arrangements in place.

Mr Toibin insisted he supported Mr Adams' remarks insofar as security concerns were raised in the report.

He said: "Absolutely where any individuals are killed, those responsible for the killing are those who carried it out.

"The IRA were responsible for the killing of Mr Breen and Mr Buchanan. The responsibility was not on the shoulders of those men.

"I think the IRA themselves would admit that and Gerry Adams himself has said that."

The attempt to get Mr Toibin on board marks a ratcheting up of efforts to revive Fianna Fail.

Last week it welcomed former Labour TD Colm Keaveney into the party and gave him a seat on its front benches.

Elsewhere, Taoiseach Enda Kenny today urged Sinn Fein president Mr Adams to come clean as to whether he was once a member of the IRA.

"If you want to have a debate about the past, start by clarifying for everybody in this country whether or not you were a member of the IRA," Mr Kenny told Mr Adams.

"Nobody believes you. Nobody believes you. Nobody believes you."

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