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Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Micheál Martin: "I'm preparing to be the next Taoiseach"

The Fianna Fáil leader has also firmly ruled out going into coalition with Fine Gael.

Updated 10.58pm

THE LEADER OF Fianna Fáil has said he is preparing to take over Enda’s seat following the next General Election.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Micheál Martin rejected criticism from councillor and former minister Mary Hanafin that the party wouldn’t be in power after the next general election, and went as far as to say he was preparing for the party to gain a majority.

“She’s not right, I don’t accept her analysis,” Martin said, speaking from the party’s think-in conference in Roscommon.

I’m preparing to be the next Taoiseach.

Martin said it’s what any party leader does, and that the outcome is ‘quite simply, a matter for the public to decide’.

Martin said the party would develop very specific policy on issues in areas such as education, health, and enterprise.

He also firmly ruled out going into coalition with Fine Gael, accusing them of becoming a very right-wing party. He described the party yesterday as ‘uncomfortable bedfellows’ for his Fianna Fáil.

Martin added that there will be more women standing in 2016, but described it as a “challenge for the party”.

“There are issues with the Dáil itself, it’s not an attractive place for women,” Martin said.

The issue will be discussed later at the party’s conference.

Speaking ahead of this, Senator Averil Power said that Leinster House is a “really weird” place to work.

For me it’s strange when I find myself in a situation where you’re the only woman in the room and there’s 20 or 30 men – to me that’s not natural.

First published 9.21am

Read: Lack of women makes Leinster House a “really weird” place to work, says Senator >

More: Fianna Fáil spends the most on two by-elections – but fails to nab a seat >

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