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Micheál Martin Alamy Stock Photo
European Union

Micheál Martin rules himself out of running for EU Commissioner job

Martin would not be drawn on who a potential Fianna Fáil nominee would be.

TÁNAISTE MICHEÁL MARTIN has categorically ruled himself out of the running for the EU Commissioner job when Ireland next nominates one in 2024.

However, the Fianna Fáil leader has insisted that the country’s next commissioner must be nominated by his party.

Mairead McGuinness, the Fine Gael nominee who is currently the EU Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and capital markets union, has previously said she is prepared to serve a second term, with her current term expiring after the European elections in June.

Speaking to reporters at a roundtable interview in Dublin, Martin said that McGuinness has done “very well” as commissioner but added that there is a “clear understanding and agreement between the parties in government as to the nomination of the next commissioner – that it would be a Fianna Fáil nominee”.

Although he ruled himself out for the job, Martin would not be drawn on who a potential Fianna Fáil nominee would be. 

He added however, that it wouldn’t necessarily be a Fianna Fáil party member.

“I think we’re going to deal with that closer to the time and we all have thoughts on that, other leaders will have ideas and so on like that, and others may have thoughts. But I am not going to deal with that until after the elections,” Martin said.

When asked if Fine Gael will push for McGuiness to have a second term, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he did not want to speculate on it at the moment and that the issue would be dealt with closer to the time a nominee is made in June or July. 

He added that no detailed discussions have yet taken place between the two Government parties.

On whether it will be Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael who nominate the next Commissioner, the Taoiseach said: 

“There’s no written agreement on that matter, there is on other matters but we’ll discuss that in June/July after the local and European elections.”

When pushed if there was an unwritten agreement between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the Taoiseach said: “Look, that’s all I am going to say for now.”

Martin also ruled himself out of a run for the Áras in 2025, when Ireland’s next presidential election will take place.

“No I am not saving myself for the Áras. I am very focused on what I am doing now as leader of Fianna Fáil and preparing – we have local elections, European elections, we have the mayoral election in Limerick, and we have a referendum in the first half of 2024.

“It’s going to be electorally and politically very, very active,” he said.

Martin said he didn’t believe that voters are interested in speculation about politicians’ futures.

“People want us to stay focused on the issues that matter for them on a policy basis. Now I keep telling my colleagues that as well and that to me is important; keep your feet on the ground, and the world changes very quickly.

“So I don’t think that far ahead to 2025,” he said. 

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