Fianna Fáil poll topper Éamon Ó Cuív has said that going into a government coalition with Fine Gael “would reap a very bitter message.”
With talks ongoing to form a government, the seasoned politician said, “I don’t know what’s going to happen but this government has been sacked. Fine Gael and Labour fought the last election on one premise and went into government on another. We fought this election on a premise that we are not going into government with Fine Gael or Sinn Féin.”
“I think if we turn around now and say promises given before elections don’t matter, then we would reap a very bitter message. People have thrown this government out and we should respect it.”
Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael now have 3 Dáil representatives a piece across Galway West, Galway East and Roscommon-Galway. Labour’s national collapse was also reflected in Galway and the party no longer has any TD in the area after Derek Nolan lost his seat and Lorraine Higgins failed to secure one in Galway East.
With the deadline looming to elect a Taoiseach, talks within Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are heating up and FF have issued demands in return for supporting a FG government. Among these is the abolition of water charges, described by party insiders as a “red line issue”. Others include a major package for rural Ireland and the introduction of a €2,000 childcare tax credit in October’s Budget.
Deputy O’Cuiv added, “If we did to go in with Fine Gael, and I don’t see that as we’ve given a commitment, but if we were to, we would come apart anyway. The policy differences between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are so fundamental that we wouldn’t last anytime in government anyway.”
Newly elected Independent Deputy Catherine Connolly meanwhile said that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael “should talk to each other. It is time to put aside civil war politics as there is no differences between them.”