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'Incompatible like oil and water': Fine Gael rules out Sinn Féin coalition

Enda Kenny came under fire this week after comments he made suggested he was opening the possibility of Fine Gael going into government with Sinn Féin.

Updated 17.30.

THE TAOISEACH HAS issued a statement clarifying Fine Gael’s position regarding a coalition with Sinn Féin, following comments he made this week.

In the statement Kenny said, “The Fine Gael Party position is, has been and will remain, not to enter into coalition government with Sinn Fèin.”

It comes after the Taoiseach came under fire for comments which seemingly opened the door for a possible coalition in the future.  Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Kenny said:

“I said I wouldn’t do business with Fianna Fáil so depending on the result you gave as a member of the electorate, politicians have to work with the result so Sinn Féin seem to be converted now to a position of changing their stance”.

However, this afternoon’s statement struck down any prospect of a coalition:

As I have stated many times previously I don’t believe the parties to be in anyway compatible, in particular on economic issues where Sinn Fein policy would lead to massive job losses and seriously undermine business and investment.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said there is no possibility of his party propping up a Fine Gael government.

Fine Gael should stop getting into a tizzy on this issue. The Taoiseach should also stop flip-flopping. I would like to help calm Fine Gael down.

“There is no possibility of Sinn Fein propping up Fine Gael in government, given their disastrous policies. That is the role that Fianna Fáil have taken on.”

‘Just a gaffe’

Speaking on Saturday with Claire Byrne on RTÉ 1 Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys shrugged off any suggestion that Kenny had implied a Sinn Féin coalition.

Sinn Féin and Fine Gael are like oil and water, they do not mix. They’re incompatible, it’s not possible and as far as I’m concerned it can’t happen.

“I feel that the entire picture wasn’t revealed … he said very very clearly and that wasn’t reported that ‘I don’t see Fine Gael doing business with Sinn Féin’.”

Meanwhile, Labour’s Alan Kelly said Kenny’s comments were “a gaffe”.

He just made a gaffe, he wasn’t programmed for the question so he didn’t know what to say.

“He was taken by surprise, he wasn’t programmes and wasn’t thinking about it.”

Read: Should Fine Gael consider going into power with Sinn Féin?>

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