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many meetings

Gerry wants to be Taoiseach, but Enda is meeting everybody so that he gets to rule the roost

The dance of those who would be in government continued apace today.


Updated 15.41

WITH GERRY ADAMS declaring himself as his party’s nominee for Taoiseach this afternoon, Fine Gael and Enda Kenny haven’t been idle.

The current Taoiseach met with the co-leaders of the Social Democrats Stephen Donnelly, Roisín Shortall, and Catherine Murphy this afternoon as his bid to firm up support for a Fine Gael government continues.

Speaking after the meeting, Donnelly said that there had been agreement on all sides of “the urgent need for reform”.


“We agreed to meet the Taoiseach, at his request, with a view to us putting forward our proposals so that we might fundamentally change the way the Dáil does business,” Donnelly said.

We listened carefully to the Taoiseach’s proposals but we also made it clear that while most of the conversations happening are about the make-up of the Dáil, there are significant crises affecting people’s lives on a daily basis and they must be addressed urgently.

The Social Democrats had an impressive opening election campaign. However, they failed to return more than the three TDs that they entered the campaign with, although all three topped their respective polls.


08/02/2016. Pictured (L to R) Sinn Fein President Leah Farrell Leah Farrell

At the Dáil plinth at midday Sinn Féin announced its intention to nominate leader Gerry Adams as Taoiseach when the Dáil reconvenes on Thursday.

“I am very happy that Sinn Féin have chosen to nominate me as Taoiseach when the Dáil resumes on Thursday,” Adams said.

We are the largest party of the Right2Change parties. We are now the main party of the working class in Ireland, it is incumbent on our party to follow the mandate that we have been given.

Adams likewise confirmed that Sinn Féin will be nominating TD Caoimghín Ó Caoláin as the new Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann, and that he has written to both Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin asking them for their support for that nomination.

Adams said that while there had been disappointments in the election for his party, or candidates “hitting the crossbar” in his own words (he cited the loss of Padraig Mac Lochlainn in Donegal as a particular source of woe), the increase in their number of TDs outweighed those disappointments.

When it was put to him that when a team hits the crossbar repeatedly the team’s manager often pays the price, Adams did not agree.

“I do not see myself as a party manager for starters, I see myself as a team player,” he said.

Adams denied that Sinn Féin would be willing to support a minority Fine Gael government.

“If a party is bringing forth issues that we agree with, progressive issues, regardless of the party, then we will support them,” he said.

When asked does that mean he would support such a government on individual issues only Adams replied: “that’s what I’m saying.”

He also confirmed that Sinn Féin will seek the dissolution of Irish Water “as soon as possible” once Dáil business resumes.

Many, many meetings


Meanwhile, Enda Kenny will this afternoon meet with members of the Independent Alliance for a second time.

The meeting is to be attended by TDs Seán Canney, John Halligan, Michael Fitzmaurice, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, and Finian McGrath on the independents’ side.

Fine Gael will be represented by the (current) Taoiseach, Frances Fitzgerald, Simon Harris, and Simon Coveney.

The Independent Alliance first met with the Fine Gael’s delegation last Friday where “constructive” discussions were held according to McGrath, the newly re-elected TD for Dublin Bay North.

“The Taoiseach contacted us yesterday to see if we’d meet again and we said we would,” McGrath told this morning.

He took away our charter for change at the last meeting so that is what we will be discussing no doubt.

The alliance has also met with Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin as the two largest parties in the new Dáil jockey for position to have their man as the next Taoiseach.

“Both sets of talks were very considered and positive, I have to say,” said McGrath.

Micheál Martin likewise took away our charter and we took away some of his stuff.

McGrath says that the alliance won’t be making its position (ie who it will support as Taoiseach) clear until Thursday morning when the Dáil will meet for the first time since the election.

24/2/2016 General Election Campaigns Starts Finian McGrath

“But that could change radically depending on how people react to  our charter for change,” he added. “If we get a call saying that everything that we’re looking for is possible of course we’ll be up for it, but we’re talking positive, costed responses to what we’re looking for.”

Political corpse?

Regarding the description of Enda Kenny as a possible “political corpse” by Shane Ross of the alliance in the Sunday Independent last weekend, McGrath dismissed the phrase as the “colourful language often used in politics”.

I don’t think the Taoiseach should be getting too precious about it, Fine Gael have done a lot worse to us over the years.
During the general election in all constituencies Brian Hayes (Fine Gael’s director of elections) was spreading scurrilous things against candidates, they were the champions of negative campaigning, and there’s Queen’s University research to back this now.

“Shane said something colourful, and I back him 100%,” he added.

Originally published 10.28

Read: Nearly half of people don’t intend paying their next Irish Water bill

Read: Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael need to get with the message from Irish voters

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