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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

'We want a new government': Martin rules out grand coalition floated by Taoiseach during debate

The Fianna Fáil leader said people in Ireland “want Fine Gael out of office”.

Image: Niall Carson/PA

FIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin has ruled out entering into a grand coalition with Fine Gael after the general election.

During last night’s Virgin Media head-to-head debate, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he was willing to enter into a coalition with Labour, the Green Party, independents – and Fianna Fáil, if it was necessary to form a stable government.

“It’s not my preference, but if it’s the only way we can form a stable government in this country, I’m willing to work with Fianna Fáil, whether that means a confidence and supply arrangement or whether it means coalition, but it’s not my preference,” he said.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a canvass in Dublin, Martin said he thought it was “interesting” that the Taoiseach had floated the idea of a grand coalition, but said that is not part of his plan.

“We will not be entering into a grand coalition, people want change, it’s very clear, the message we’re receiving [is] people want change in this country, they want Fine Gael out of office,” he said.

“I’ve made it very clear we want to go into government with other centre parties, clearly the Labour and Green parties are ones we would be interested in going into government with. Obviously it is to be determined by the people and others as well. That is out very clear position.”

He said Fine Gael had been “there too long” and have not delivered on the “key issues such as housing, health, and the impact of the cost of living on so many people”.

When asked about the possibility of another confidence and supply agreement with Fine Gael, he said: “Look we want a new government, I think the people want a new government, we want a new government. That means a completely new government. That’s where we are at the moment.”

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