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File photo of Éamon Ó Cuív (right) and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Sam Boal/

Éamon Ó Cuív and Saoirse McHugh say they won't back programme for government

Ó Cuív said he “seriously” fears for the future of Fianna Fáil.

TWO PROMINENT MEMBERS of Fianna Fáil and the Green Party, Éamon Ó Cuív and Saoirse McHugh respectively, have said they will not back the programme for government drafted by their parties and Fine Gael.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sarah McInerney, Ó Cuív, a TD for Galway West, said there are a lot of “potholes” in deal.

He said there are specific failings in terms of rural development, agriculture, housing and the Irish language.

Ó Cuív said he “seriously” fears for the future of Fianna Fáil, stating: “There will again be two big parties in future, but one of them will not be Fianna Fáil.”

However, he said it the deal is passed by party members as expected, he will vote for Micheál Martin to become Taoiseach.

“If the party gets this passed – and I presume with the weight of the parliamentary party behind it and the leader, they will – I will vote for Micheál Martin as Taoiseach,” Ó Cuív said.

Speaking on the same programme, Seanad candidate McHugh also criticised the deal, saying it includes “a lot of woolly management-speak” that “obscures the fact that a lot of it is quite fudgey”.

McHugh said the environmental movement “is no longer just about emission reduction, it’s about climate justice”. She noted there is no commitment on the Occupied Territories Bill or focus on workers’ rights in the programme, for example.

Parliamentary members of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens endorsed the programme for government yesterday. The document will now be referred to the parties’ general members for ratification via a postal vote.

At last night’s Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar urged party members to vote in favour of the programme for government, saying it is “the right thing to do for the country”.

Varadkar said the proposed three-party government, which has an electoral mandate of more than 50%, would have a strong majority and a very good chance it could last until the spring of 2025.

The main points in the programme for government can be read here.

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