Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Saturday 3 June 2023 Dublin: 17°C
Leah Farrell Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness
# Rotating Taoisigh
Fianna Fáil TD says Micheál Martin should resign as party leader when Taoiseach term ends
TD John McGuinness said some of Fianna Fáil’s parliamentary party are becoming “anxious” about how close it is to Fine Gael.

A FIANNA FÁIL TD has said that Micheál Martin should resign as party leader as he steps down from the role of Taoiseach at the end of the year.

John McGuinness, TD for Carlow-Kilkenny, said that some of Fianna Fáil’s parliamentary party are becoming “anxious” about how close it is to Fine Gael.

Martin, who has led Fianna Fail since 2011, has been the Taoiseach since 2020 but is due to hand the position over to Fine Gael’s Leo Varadkar in December as part of the agreements of the coalition government, mid-way through its term.

Speaking on Newstalk’s On The Record with Gavan Reilly programme, McGuinness said that “we’re looking to the future in terms of the leadership of the party, the next general election and so on, and there’s always a time mid-term to look at these issues and look at the changes that are necessary both in policy and direction”.

“It’s a natural timing that you would look at these things, just as much as you should look at the program for government which was brought about in 2020 under completely different circumstances”.

“A lot of the parliamentary party are now becoming anxious about how close we have become to Fine Gael and how close our policies are with Fine Gael and there’s no distinction between both parties, so the time has come to create that distinction and to follow the policies that we once had,” he said.

“The confidence and supply arrangement, I think, was very damaging for the party.”

McGuinness, the Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure, and Taoiseach, said he would oppose current Tánaiste Leo Varadkar becoming Taoiseach if Micheál Martin does not step down as Fianna Fáil’s party leader.

“I would subscribe to that but I would hope it would not come to that,” he said.

“That’s something that I will promote with colleagues at a parliamentary party meeting and accept then the consensus from the meeting in terms of the direction that we will take.”

The unusual coalition between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party decided at its outset that Micheál Martin would take the role of Taoiseach for the first half of its term and it would then go to Leo Varadkar, who was Taoiseach at the time of the general election.

Last week, the government won a confidence vote in the Dáil by a margin of 85 to 66 despite losing its majority due to TDs resigning the whip.

Sinn Féin had proposed a vote of no confidence in the government, with leader Mary Lou McDonald saying it was “out of touch” and “coming apart at the seams”.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment

    Leave a commentcancel