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Sinn Fein to meet with left-wing parties to hammer out coalition details

Pearse Doherty said that Ireland is on the cusp of something that people would not think possible a number of months ago.

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Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty (Niall Carson/PA)

Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty (Niall Carson/PA)

Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty (Niall Carson/PA)

Sinn Fein’s negotiation team is to meet with a number of the smaller parties on Wednesday to hammer out details in an attempt to form a government.

Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty, who will head up the party’s negotiations team, said he also welcomes Fianna Fail’s “shift” in its position in talking to his party.

Mr Doherty said they have already reached out to a number of the left-wing parties today and yesterday – including the Social Democrats, the Green party, Solidarity-People Before Profit and the Labour Party.

Joining him in the negotiation team are Sinn Fein TDs Louise O’Reilly, Eoin O Broin and Matt Carthy.

Speaking outside party headquarters in Dublin, Mr Doherty said: “The votes have been counted and the seats have been filled and it’s very clear that people voted for change.

“Sinn Fein is determined to deliver a government for change.

“In the first instance, we have already reached out to those parties who received a mandate for change and those discussions will start tomorrow.

“I also welcome the fact that Fianna Fail have shifted their position and are opening to discussing with Sinn Fein, and I think they now recognise that this election has changed everything.”

Mr Doherty added: “Our job is to explore the options that are available for delivering real change, delivering solutions on housing, in health, climate change, pensions and preparing for Irish unity and making sure that workers and families have a break.

“It is my firm belief that there should be no delay in terms of government formation.

“We have urgent work to do and we are ready for that and up for the task and we need to get on it and this process has already started from Sinn Fein’s point of view.”

It is my firm belief that there should be no delay in terms of government formationPearse Doherty

Mr Doherty said that discussions to form an alternative coalition will kick off on Wednesday with Sinn Fein party president Mary Lou McDonald meeting other party representatives.

“Our job is to talk to them and those parties who have a mandate for change, to tease out the appetite, how we can deliver that type of change as part of a government and how we can deliver for people who sent a very clear message to us that they want a different approach in terms of housing and health and making sure they have a break and have more money in their pockets,” he added.

He said that Ireland is on the cusp of something that people would not think possible a number of months ago.

“This isn’t just Sinn Fein’s victory, it’s the people’s victory. We have to try and make sure we find common ground with others,” he continued.

He said that common ground can be found with other parties including their position on introducing a rent freeze and reducing the escalating rent.

“We are not hanging about, that’s not in our gift, we are saying there should be no delay in terms of government formation, we need to inject urgency into this,” Mr Doherty added.

“There is now agreement to sit down and start those discussions tomorrow.”

PA