Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald blasts ‘arrogant’ political rivals for denying her party place in next Irish government over historic links to IRA
- Sinn Fein topped the first preference poll in last week’s Irish General Election
- The party won 37 seats – one less than Fianna Fail and two more than Fine Gael
- But Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has refused to form a coalition with them
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald says political rivals are ‘arrogant’
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald today blasted ‘arrogant’ political rivals for denying her party a place in the next Irish Government.
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has ruled out entering a coalition with the left-leaning party because of historic links to the IRA.
Ms McDonald told a party meeting in Belfast: ‘The political establishment of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are circling the wagons in defence of a status quo that will not deliver the change citizens voted for last weekend.
‘Because they don’t want change. That is why they said they wouldn’t talk to us.
‘And it now seems that Micheal Martin’s plan is to deny the people what they voted for.
‘That is an arrogant and untenable position, given the strength of Sinn Fein’s mandate.’
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald pictured celebrating with supporters after last week’s election which saw the party win the largest number of first preference votes
Leader of Ireland’s Fianna Fail party, Michael Martin, told a meeting of his TDs this week that they would form a coalition with anyone except Sinn Fein
Mr Martin told a party meeting last week that they could not seek a deal with the left wing republicans because of the damage they would do to the country.
A source from the centre-right party told the Irish Independent there was ‘pretty unanimous support’ for Mr Martin’s decision.
Mr Martin made note of Waterford Sinn Fein TD David Cullinane’s shout of ‘up the Ra (IRA)’ at a party bash after last weekend’s election success.
‘The mask slipped,’ Mr Martin told his colleagues and revealed why Sinn Fein are not fit for office.
Sinn Fein emerged as the party with the largest first preference vote in last week’s Irish election.
But it did not field enough candidates to fully capitalise on a wave of support inspired by discontent over problems in the health service and access to housing.
Sinn Fein’s rivals ruled out joining the republican party in a coalition government due to its historical links with the IRA. Pictured: IRA masked provisionals escorting the coffin at the funeral of hunger striker Bobby Sands in 1981
Sinn Fein topped the first preference poll following the General Election and secured a total of 37 seats – one fewer than Fianna Fail and two more than Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael.
No single party has enough seats to govern and Sinn Fein appears to have failed to muster enough support from a coalition of small left-leaning parties and independent members of the new Irish Parliament, the Dail.
Ms McDonald said the public had given her party a chance to show it can improve their lives.
She said: ‘A chance to show that will we honour our commitments. A chance to shape a government that will finally do right by ordinary people.
‘They want a government for change.’
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s party won 35 seats in the 160-seat parliament behind Sinn Fein which got 37 and Fianna Fail which has 38