Voters hostile to Government: Adams
Opposition parties have claimed a strong anti-Government sentiment on the eve of the Meath East by-election.
Less than 24 hours until polling stations open to elect a successor to the late Shane McEntee, Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail warned a hard-pressed and angered public could bare their teeth at the ballot box.
In a last-ditch plea for votes for Sinn Fein candidate Darren O'Rourke, party president Gerry Adams said struggling families were sick of the Government's broken promises.
"There is a very, very hostile attitude, quite rightly, to austerity and what the Government is doing," Mr Adams said, "and a very, very positive and very warm response to Sinn Fein. Hopefully that will convert into votes."
Mr Adams refused to align himself with Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, insisting a vote for that party would be no different to supporting the Fine Gael-Labour Government.
Fianna Fail has urged Sinn Fein voters to transfer to their candidate, Thomas Byrne.
"We can shake this system up and lead this Government back to the election promises it made, and start the building of an alternative way forward," Mr Adams added.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny got a taste of the anger towards his Government as he canvassed with Fine Gael candidate Helen McEntee - the daughter of the late Mr McEntee, who died before Christmas - when he was cornered by a garda angered by cuts.
The race for the single seat looks set to be a showdown between Ms McEntee and Mr Byrne.
Fianna Fail leader Mr Martin warned there was little Government support in Meath East. He said he had encountered a lot of people while canvassing who were "annoyed" over cuts to child benefits and education.