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
Thursday 8 June 2023 Dublin: 12°C
PA Archive/Press Association Images Micheál Martin and Averil Power pictured in 2012.
# not going quietly
Micheál Martin comes out swinging against Averil Power... and she's swung back
It’s on.

Update: 16.10

FIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin has hit back at Senator Averil Power after she sharply criticised his leadership style when announcing her resignation from the party.

Power said Fianna Fáil “lacks vision, courage and leadership” and described Martin as “a leader without any followers”.

The senator said she has been unhappy with the party for some time, stating she has been repeatedly “rebuffed by my own party” and “reprimanded” by Martin when she called for former party leader Bertie Ahern to be expelled from Fianna Fáil in 2011.

Power said the “final straw” was the party’s approach to the same-sex marriage referendum, claiming “the vast majority of the party’s public representatives refused to campaign for it” in case they lost votes.

Shortly after her shock announcement, Power spoke to the News at One. During the interview she claimed party colleagues had laughed at her when she suggested they campaign for a Yes vote.

On the same programme Martin denied this, describing the allegation as “a gross distortion”.

Martin said he has been “very, very supportive of Averil”, something he thinks “hasn’t been reciprocated”.

When asked about claims he had “carpeted” Power over her criticism of the party’s failure to attract more female candidates, Martin stated: “I do not carpet people,” adding he pointed out to Power that she hadn’t provided the party with any potential women candidates.

095Averil Power has resigned copy Power after she made the announcement at Leinster House.

Martin said Power had attempted to “suspend the internal democratic process of the party” and ensure she was Fianna Fáil’s only candidate in Dublin Bay North.

He claimed Power didn’t want former minister Seán Haughey or councillor Deirdre Heney to put their names forward, despite the fact party research had shown she wouldn’t have enough support to be elected if she was the only Fianna Fáil candidate on the ticket.

Power was adamant she would have been successful, stating:

I know I would have won a seat for the party in the next election.

The Senator, who will serve out the rest of her time in the Seanad as an independent, said she isn’t sure if she will run in the general election.

She said she “would stick it out” with the party if she thought Martin was the only problem.

‘Total rubbish’

Power took to Twitter this afternoon to refute Martin’s comments, describing them as “total rubbish” and claiming he told her his preference was for one candidate in Dublin Bay North: her.

Shock in the party

Power’s party colleagues expressed shock at her departure, as they had not been made aware of it before her public announcement.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív, who has criticised the party’s leadership in the past, told he was “very surprised” Power’s departure, and her comments about Martin.

To be quite honest, without his very open support, it’s very unlikely she would have been a senator.

Senator Mark Daly said he’s “surprised and disappointed that [Power] left in the manner that she did”.

He said her criticism of Martin is “unfair and unfounded”, noting Bobby Aylward’s win in the Carlow-Kilkenny by-election is an indication that “Fianna Fáil’s message is resonating with people”.

“There’s always a case where people wouldn’t be entirely happy with what is going on all the time, but you work within the party,” Daly said.

He added that Martin had shown “great leadership” on the marriage referendum.

Senator Terry Leyden said he is “really disappointed” by the news and doesn’t understand why Power is leaving the party.

Leyden said she is “a very bright politician” who has made a “terrific contribution” to Fianna Fáil, adding he hopes she will continue to work in politics.

However, he also said her criticism of Martin was unfair.

Averil Power launches scathing attack on Fianna Fáil as she quits party

Fianna Fáil has finally won a by-election

Your Voice
Readers Comments