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Sinn Féin enter Government Buildings for talks with top civil servants

The party will discuss with government officials how its commitments on housing, health, and preparing for Irish unity can be delivered.

Sinn Féin are meeting with the government's top civil servant Martin Fraser this afternoon.
Sinn Féin are meeting with the government's top civil servant Martin Fraser this afternoon.
Image: RollingNews.ie

SINN FÉIN IS meeting with the government’s top civil servant this afternoon to see if their manifesto can be turned into a programme for Government. 

Speaking to reporters outside Government Buildings, the party’s leader negotiator, Donegal TD Pearse Doherty said Sinn Féin is “stepping up its preparations” for entering government.

He said his party is “deadly serious” about building a government of change without Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil. 

“People can’t sit back and wait two or three months while parties decide to finish the shadow-boxing or play-acting,” he said.

Sinn Féin negotiation team members Pearse Doherty, Eoin Ó Broin, Louise O’Reilly and Matt Carthy were heading into a meeting with Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach, Martin Fraser. 

Doherty said the party’s leader Mary Lou McDonald also met with Fraser yesterday.

The Sinn Fein team is also set to meet with other government departments, said Doherty.

The party will discuss with government officials how its commitments on housing, health, and preparing for Irish unity can be delivered.

“Today’s meeting will be just the start of a process where, we’ll be meeting with individual departments to tease out how our commitments in our manifesto can be delivered into a program for government and Sinn Féin are absolutely committed to delivering on that government for change and that means a government that builds the houses, that cuts rents, that freezes them, that gives workers and families the break they deserve, that gives people the right to retire at age 65,” he said.

He added that discussions on government formation will continue with independents and smaller parties tomorrow.

“We’ve hit the ground running,” Doherty said. 

The Green Party are due to meet with Sinn Féin on Friday or Monday. Sinn Féin will also meet Independents 4 Change TDs tomorrow, a number of other independent TDs, as well as Labour tomorrow. 

Fianna Fáil are due to hold a second parliamentary party meeting tomorrow evening.

Last night, after a six-hour parliamentary party meeting, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that Fine Gael “is preparing to go into opposition”.

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The proposal of a grand coalition with Fianna Fáil and other parties has been met with significant resistance within Fine Gael. 

Varadkar said he relishes the challenge to lead a strong and effective Opposition for the benefit of the country.

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