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How much grief are Micheál Martin and Fianna Fáil getting on the doorsteps?

Fianna Fáil was launching its European election manifesto today but what sort of reception are voters giving its candidates on the doorstep?

Micheál Martin flanked by most of Fianna Fáil's European election candidates today
Micheál Martin flanked by most of Fianna Fáil's European election candidates today
Image: Hugh O'Connell/TheJournal.ie

MICHEÁL MARTIN DECLINED to say if he or the party are getting grief on the doorsteps in their first nationwide electoral test since the general election three years ago, but said today that there is a “broader disillusionment with politics”.

Speaking at the launch of Fianna Fáil’s European election manifesto in Dublin this afternoon Martin was asked repeatedly how much grief, if any, the party is getting as it campaigns across the country in the European and local elections.

He said that “people are engaging with us” and that issues around job creation and young people emigrating are being raised as well as the cost of living due to a “raft of charges” that have “no connection to ability to pay”.

“People are engaging with us, people are talking to us because people are focused on the future of the country,” he insisted.

“People want to see a vision for the future, they want to see a plan for the future.”
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He added: “People are engaging with us – there’s a different mood in that respect. It doesn’t mean they aren’t angry, it doesn’t mean people aren’t very very upset with the way things are.”

Martin said there is “a broader disillusionment with politics out there among a lot of people” and said it is a challenge for all political leaders to “restore trust in politics”.

Asked if the party has been forgiven for its role in the financial collapse, he said: “It’s not as simple as that. People made their on judgements on that, we had a general election.”

Martin was joined at the manifesto launch by the four of the party’s five European election candidates including sitting MEP Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher, his Midlands North West running mate Thomas Byrne, Dublin candidate Mary Fitzpatrick and Ireland South candidate Kieran Hartley.

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 The manifesto calls for a pan-European salary cap in financial companies and Martin said that his party will be committed to protecting the Common Agriculture Policy.

“We’re the only party which has taken the time to examine the issues in depth and made proposals for reform,” Martin claimed.

He also said in the wake of the Anglo trial verdict that there needs to be a “robust parliamentary oversight” of all regulators including the financial regulatory system.

Read: Fianna Fáil is running Mary O’Rourke’s son in the Longford-Westmeath by-election

Read: 8 skills you need to run for election according to these campaign videos

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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