Cllr Kelly says Fianna Fáil deal with FG will ‘destroy the party’

May 18th, 2020 10:30 PM

By Emma Connolly

Cllr Deirdre Kelly, left, with party leader Mícheal Martin in Glengarriff with former TD Margaret Murphy O’Mahony, has criticised Martin.

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A FIANNA Fáil (FF) councillor has slammed her party’s decision to enter talks with Fine Gael, saying such a move would destroy the party.

In a strongly-worded statement on Wednesday, Cllr Deirdre Kelly said that if FF is to survive it ‘needs to get back to the ordinary people of Ireland and really listen to them. That will not be possible in a coalition agreement with Fine Gael.’

Cllr Kelly, (who took the Council seat of Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan who was elected to the Dáil for the party in February), added: ‘In unprecedented times, FF now faces its greatest challenge. It can coalesce with FG and end up being effectively wiped out at the next election, or at best, preside over a re-configuring of “governing in perpetuity” as previously outlined, but this time as the junior partner.

‘The alternative it to take a real leadership role and work to ensure inclusivity by securing a unity government involving all parties and none, all the while bringing the party back to its roots and overcoming its current identity crisis.’

Party veteran Cllr Joe Carroll agreed that a FF/FG coalition would not go down well in West Cork, or with him.

He said Cllr Kelly was simply reflecting the feelings of the West Cork membership and rural Ireland, adding: ‘To think that FF can only talk to FG is something that will destroy FF. We have spent four years propping up the government and have come out none the better. Why does FF always have to be the fall guy?’

He said that Sinn Féin (SF) was being allowed off ‘scot free’ to enter opposition.

‘I’m not a Sinn Féin person, but after getting half of the country’s vote and a mandate, they don’t have to take any responsibilities. It seems that Micheál Martin has boxed himself into a corner he can’t get out of.’

Cllr Carroll added that under the current circumstances, he would live with a FF/FG coalition, but only after all other options were explored.

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