SINN FÉIN LEADER Gerry Adams has said members of Fianna Fáil have told him they are “uncomfortable” with Micheál Martin’s comments about the party.
Adams said both Oireachtas members and grassroots members of Fianna Fáil have told him they disagree with Martin comparing the party to the mafia. He declined to name names.
On Monday, Martin told Newstalk Lunchtime Sinn Féin was a “mafia organisation” that operates under “a vow of omerta”.
Adams said other Sinn Féin representatives have had the same experience, including Mary Lou McDonald, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin and Pearse Doherty.
The Louth TD said some members of Martin’s party are unhappy with his “general negative invective against Sinn Féin”.
Members of Fianna Fáil who identified themselves to us on our travels are uncomfortable with that, and a number of Oireachtas members have approached me [at Leinster House] and said to me that they’re uncomfortable with that and don’t agree with the leader.
There has been much speculation about a possible Sinn Féin Fianna Fáil coalition after the general election, with some people in both parties seemingly open to the idea. Others, including Michael McGrath, have said this scenario is not a runner.
Yesterday McGrath said: “Any speculation about a Sinn Féin Fianna Fáil coalition is damaging to Fianna Fáil’s interest and that might be part of the reason they are sending mixed messages on the issue.”
Adams said he will be encouraging Sinn Féin voters to give lower preference votes to parties and individuals who have signed up to the Right2Change programme, which covers issues such as homelessness, poverty, trolleys in hospitals and emigration.
Responding to Shane Ross saying that Sinn Féin would need to undergo a “Pauline conversion to democracy” before the Independent Alliance could support the party in government, Adams said:
The independents are a motley crew if I can say so, they’re a political party which isn’t a political party or an alliance which isn’t a political party.
“I hear that Shane Ross is offering up prayers for the conversion of Sinn Féin in the time ahead. The electorate are well able to use their own discretion on who they may or may not cast their preferences for,” he added.