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Sinn Féin now insists coalition with Fianna Fáil is 'extremely unlikely'

Party leader Gerry Adams was more coy earlier, saying he’s only ruling out “larger conservative parties”.
Dec 1st 2015, 5:15 PM 13,800 129

Updated 5.15pm 

SINN FÉIN HAS said the prospect of coalition with Fianna Fáil after the next general election is “extremely unlikely”.

The party this evening issued a statement attempting to clarify its position after Gerry Adams had earlier refused to rule out such a possibility.

Speaking to reporters in Leinster House this afternoon, Adams was asked a number of times directly about the chance of partnering up with Fianna Fáil.

He said his party was only excluding “larger conservative parties”. He wouldn’t say which he was referring to.

“We have made it clear that we’re not going to do what Labour did and go in with one of the larger conservative parties. That’s if they end up as bigger conservative parties,” he said.

“Look, the wonderful thing about the election is that nobody really knows what’s going to come out of it. And when we know what comes out of it, then we’ll talk to whoever we want to talk to.”

The latest opinion poll from last week gave Sinn Féin a level of support of 21%, second only to Fine Gael and two points ahead of Fianna Fáil.

Tweet by @The Irish Times Source: The Irish Times/Twitter

That, along with other recent polls, has meant that the post-election shake-up is looking even harder to predict. Adams says there’s no point speculating until after the seats are decided.

Asked if Fianna Fáil was one of the ‘large conservative parties’ he was talking about, he wouldn’t even be drawn on their size.

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“After the election, we will see who is large and who will be small. We know about their conservatism, but their size, entirely like the size of Sinn Fein, is in the gift of the electorate.”

‘Extremely unlikely’

In a statement this evening, a Sinn Féin spokesperson said that coalition would only happen if it is the largest party and Fianna Fáil agrees to abolish property tax, water charges and Irish Water.

“The prospect of Sinn Féin being in coalition with Fianna Fáil after the election is extremely unlikely,” they said.

Sinn Féin would only contemplate this idea if we are the larger party and only on the basis that Fianna Fáil signs up to the right2change principles and agrees to abolish the property tax, water charges and Irish Water. That’s not something we can envisage Fianna Fáil doing.
We want to lead a progressive government under the right2change principles. That is our aim and we will look to work with others who have signed up to these principles.

- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell

First published 1.59pm

Read: Sinn Féin says this Fine Gael video is ‘typical pathetic crap’ >

Read: Enda to Micheál: ‘You ran like a scalded cat, as fast as your legs could carry you’ >

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Rónán Duffy

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