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Enda Kenny warns voters not to choose 'political freakshow' of the Opposition

Is it election season already?

endamacgill Source: Donegal County Council

Updated: 10.36 pm

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has warned Irish voters not to choose a “political freakshow” at the next general election – a veiled attack on increasingly popular Independents and smaller parties.

Speaking at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal this evening, Kenny’s remarks were unmistakeably campaigning in their tone – presenting the metaphor of the Irish people “at a crossroads.”

Will they choose the road to strengthened economic recovery – already mapped, cleared, tested? One that cherishes the sacrifice they have made?
Or will they take another road?  A road that’s possibly mined, and certainly unmapped, untested?
Will it be ‘Hello again’ to the old boom and bust, to the forced emigration of our children, to political and societal slash and burn…
Or will it be a political freakshow, a government free-for-all, where it’s none for all and all for none?

Tonight’s speech reaffirms what looks like being one of the Fine Gael-Labour government’s main arguments in the next General Election – “stability over chaos.”

A volatile Ireland, of chaos, or boom-and-bust, offered by the Opposition?  Or a stable, secure, recovering Ireland offered by the Government?

His attack on the Opposition comes nine days after the announcement of another new, smaller party, the Social Democrats, and a week after a new poll found support for Independents had risen to a record high of 31%, with Fine Gael trailing at 24%.

Kenny’s government has insisted they will go the full duration of their term, until next Spring, but there has been growing talk of an election being called before Christmas 2015.

Sinn Fein politicians visit Westminster Source: Jonathan Brady/PA

His comments on emigration and income tax this evening have drawn an attack from Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, who called them “ludicrous.”

Kenny said the current levels of income tax “make it harder to get our sons and daughters to come home to work.”

In a statement tonight, Adams said:

What has caused so many people to leave this State are the brutal and destructive austerity policies being pursued by Mr Kenny’s Government and his Fianna Fáil predecessors.

Although the Taoiseach didn’t mention Sinn Féin explicitly in his speech, the party’s leader called it “nonsense” to suggest that a government including Sinn Féin would be “a gamble.”

“The Taoiseach should let citizens make the choice now by calling a General Election,” he added.

In concluding his speech, the Taoiseach twice use the phrase “good life”, famously one of the manifesto slogans of David Cameron‘s successful general election campaign in the Spring.

Kenny said he wanted 2016 to be a year when young Irish emigrants could come home to “build and live ‘a good life’”, and offered a vision of Ireland:

Where you, your children and their children can have ‘a good life’ – a fulfilling, hopeful and prosperous future.

Originally published: 8.43 pm

Read: New poll shows a surge in support for independents>

Read: Ireland’s newest political party will abolish water charges and repeal the 8th>

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About the author:

Dan MacGuill

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