Kenny Hits Out at FitzGerald and is Asked to Clarify Position on SF by Martin
Interesting report in this morning’s Irish Independent from Fionnan Sheehan, Senan Moloney and Conor Kane on the on-going will-they won’t-they in Fine Gael regarding coalition with Sinn Féin.
The Indo’s team point out that Kenny did not rule out a coalition with any party when speaking to TG4 at the FG Ard Fheis earlier this year. They quote the opposition leader as saying “Sinn Fein have changed. I am not ruling anyone out at all”. Fair point, nice work.
They also draw attention to the fact Kenny rounded on former party leader (now also former party member) Garrett FitzGerald over FitzGerald’s statement yesterday on how FG voters should use their second preferences.
FitzGerald said that FG supporters should favour pro-Lisbon parties – “If that means Fine Gael people, and Labour, voting for Eoin Ryan before [Joe] Higgins or [Mary Lou] McDonald, then that’s the way it should be, I believe.”
Obviously that would give Ryan a better chance of keeping the Fianna Fáil seat in Dublin, something Kenny wouldn’t love to see happen. The loss of that seat would be a huge blow to FF and in combination with a slap from the electorate in the locals has the potential to force Cowen over the edge. Kenny says he wants a general election…
Interestly, The Indo also note that foreign affairs minister, Michael Martin has called on Kenny to clarify his position on Sinn Féin – clearly FF has jumped on this as a chance to rattle the main opposition party before Friday. However, if memory serves me right (and it doesn’t always) Dermot Ahern was also making statements like “we won’t rule anything out” before the last general election, so there may be an element of hypocrisy in Martin’s request.
It’ll be interesting to see where this will go, if anywhere. I’d love to know Labour’s current position on Sinn Féin, anyone fancy putting in a call to one P.DeRossa?