| 14.7°C Belfast

Sinn Fein say a second election would be ‘failure of politics’

The group’s TDs met Fianna Fail on Wednesday morning to discuss plans for potentially entering government.

Close

Micheal Martin and Pearse Doherty (Brian Lawless/PA)

Micheal Martin and Pearse Doherty (Brian Lawless/PA)

Micheal Martin and Pearse Doherty (Brian Lawless/PA)

Sinn Fein has said it wants to avoid a second general election and it is still possible for them to form a minority government.

Leader of Sinn Fein’s negotiating team Pearse Doherty said the party met with the Rural Independents group for government formation discussions on Wednesday.

Mr Doherty said: “We don’t want to see a second election.

“That would be a major failure in relation to politics and it would not be of our doing.”

“As I said, we are willing to talk to all other political parties.

“We have a mandate as do other political parties and we respect and recognise that mandate.”

Mr Doherty said: “We need to be saying we have had the initial conversations and had the discussions about the mood for change, now we need to see what common ground is there on these key issues.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

“Obviously a minority government is one possibility but there are other possibilities.”

“We have said over and over again since the general election campaign that we are open to discussing this with other parties.

“Some parties say they still won’t talk to us; that may change so we will have to see. We have to explore every option to see if a government for change.”

“We are not sure how long this will all take but we need to inject a sense of urgency into these talks.

“It is disappointing there will not be a vote for taoiseach when the Dail reconvenes on March 5th. I don’t expect an outcome from that process but at least it is a marking stage in the process.”

The Rural Independents group have said they will be calling for “fair play for rural Ireland” if they are a part of any coalition government.

The group met Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin at Leinster House on Wednesday.

The Green Party is also meeting Fianna Fail and will start policy talks on Wednesday as efforts continue to form a government.

The idea we have to change our emphasis to insist that factories go to rural cities now, never mind towns, is needed so that we have a fair and equal IrelandMattie McGrath

The convenor of the Rural Independent Group, Mattie McGrath, said: “We are looking for fair play for rural Ireland. By rural Ireland, we mean… all of the regional cities and towns.”

Mr McGrath said there should be a better spread of jobs and companies so the economy is not concentrated in the capital.

“This situation with Dublin choking up the rest of the country is just ridiculous.

“The idea we have to change our emphasis to insist that factories go to rural cities now, never mind towns, is needed so that we have a fair and equal Ireland.”

He also said the current penalty points system for drivers needs to be reformed.

People do not have time to wait while the main political parties dance around the issue of getting down to businessMattie McGrath

“Minister for Transport Shane Ross wants to double the amount of penalty points people get on a bank holiday weekend… that could be the farmer going to the mart on a bank holiday or a person going to work on a bank holiday,” he said.

“Rural Ireland stays open on a bank holiday so those proposals are outrageous if you are to be penalised doubly.”

Mr McGrath added there needs to be more urgency around the government formation talks.

“The priority has to be about bringing an end to the political posturing so that major public concerns around health and housing can be addressed.

“The Rural Independent Group is very aware that the people we represent, and indeed people generally, do not have time to wait while the main political parties dance around the issue of getting down to business and bringing about a platform for significant policy change.”


Top Videos



Privacy