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FF Heave

Micheál Martin breaks cover: the statement in full

The full text of Micheál Martin’s statement, in which he admitted wanting a new FF leader, and that he’d vote against Brian Cowen.

The following is the full text of Micheál Martin’s press statement this evening, in which he said that he would be voting against Brian Cowen in Tuesday’s vote of confidence.

Throughout my time as a government minister I have always given the Taoiseach my views in an honest and open way. This has been no different over the last week during which we have talked candidly and in private on a number of occasions.

I believe that Fianna Fáil must recognize the reality of the current climate of public opinion. My concern is that we be able to put forward a positive agenda, campaign with energy and engage the public.

I have reluctantly concluded that, in these circumstances, Fianna Fáil should change its leader before the election and I have informed the Taoiseach of this view. Having talked to most members of the Parliamentary Party and many members of the party across the country, I believe that this is a widely held view.

I want to be clear that there is no question about who should continue to lead the government. The government has a short agenda to complete before the General Election. This involves delivering a number of specific reform commitments and providing for the final implementation of this year’s Budget. This work is essential to ensure that there can be a more constructive debate during the election, and that there is time for the orderly process of government formation.

I welcome the decision of the Taoiseach to table a vote of confidence in himself at next Tuesday’s Parliamentary Party meeting. I will, in accordance with my views, be voting against the motion of confidence.

In these circumstances, I have offered my resignation to the Taoiseach. He has indicated that he believes such a course of action is not necessary.