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Fianna Fáil TD would have 'no problem' doing a deal with Fine Gael*

* But only if it’s the largest party, according to justice spokesperson Niall Collins.

A FIANNA FÁIL TD has said he would have “no problem” with Fine Gael supporting a Fianna Fáil-led government after the election.

Justice spokesperson Niall Collins made the remarks as he was quizzed about the prospect of a grand coalition between the two parties.

The latest opinion poll shows the current government is unlikely to be re-elected and has raised fresh speculation about the prospect of a deal between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

While Collins emphatically ruled out his party “propping up” Enda Kenny or Fine Gael in government, he said he would not have a problem with Fine Gael supporting a Fianna Fáil-led government.

16/4/2015. Fianna Fail Drug Problems Niall Collins Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

“If we’re the biggest party, if they want to come in and prop us up, that’s a different kettle of fish,” he said.

It’s something I wouldn’t have a problem with.

The Limerick TD said that Fianna Fáil, which is running 71 candidates in 40 constituencies, is aiming to be the largest party in the next Dáil.

‘Richest and wealthiest’

But Collins was critical of Kenny’s party, saying that Fine Gael stands for “the richest and the wealthiest in society”.

The policies that they’ve implemented over successive years in government now, over the last five years and in their budgets have impacted disproportionately on the people who can least afford to pay.

“It has always been our ethos, as a republican party, fairness and equality in terms of our policies…Fine Gael, with their policies, there is a huge divergence.”

Photo: RollingNews.ie Micheál Martin Source: Leah Farrell

Speaking in Kerry today, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin  reiterated his party’s position that it is “not in our business to prop-up Enda Kenny or a Fine Gael-led government”.

He said his party rejected the premise on which questions about supporting Fine Gael after the election are based and insisted:

Fianna Fáil wants to lead the next government. There has to be a choice between a Fianna Fáil-led government and a Fine Gael-led government.

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Crime proposals

Collins was speaking earlier today at the launch of Fianna Fáil’s proposals to tackle crime.

Measures the party is proposing include increasing garda numbers to 15,000 and enabling more guards to work on the frontline.

Fianna Fáil is also proposing to set up a serious and organised crime unit within An Garda Síochána and also set up a dedicated Dublin city centre public order unit in the capital.

The party will also ask the Garda Inspectorate to examine if any of the 139 garda stations that have been closed in recent years should be reopened.

Collins admitted that if the inspectorate determined that none of the stations should be reopened then his party would abide by that decision.

‘Come over here’: Gerry and Enda shook hands in Sligo this morning

Read: The results of the first poll taken DURING the election aren’t great news for the coalition

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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