Political news

Sinn Féin's Eoin Ó Broin says Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael needed to form government

Dublin Mid-West TD Eoin O Broin said there are big policy differences between Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil
Aine McMahon PA

A Sinn Féin TD has said it will be impossible for the party to form a coalition government without the support of either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael.

Fianna Fáil agreed not to go into coalition with Sinn Féin following a four-hour meeting of its parliamentary party yesterday.

The decision is likely to stop Sinn Féin entering power for the first time, as their leader Mary Lou McDonald said forming a coalition without them or Fine Gael would be "very, very tricky".

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have repeatedly ruled out going into government with Sinn Féin, as talks continue this week to try to form a coalition government.

Fianna Fáil have the most seats with 38, but Sinn Féin won 37 seats and the highest proportion of first preference votes following Saturday's general election.

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin told RTÉ radio Sinn Féin is still open to talking to all parties but said there are big policy differences between Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil.

He said: "On Tuesday morning the broad progressive left had 66 TDs and that is not enough for government."

"What we have been saying since then is we want a government led by progressive left policies."

When asked how Sinn Féin can form a government without the two largest parties, he said: "You can't.

"The most irresponsible thing to do is what Micheál Martin has said - to say he won't talk to a party that now represents 24 per cent of the electorate."

Fianna Fáil leader Mr Martin told RTÉ news yesterday that he would not rule out another general election.

He said: "In terms of the future, I can't be certain how all of this is going to work. It will be very difficult.

"I would not rule out another general election. This is going to be so difficult."

Mr Ó Broin criticised Mr Martin for ruling other parties in and out of potential government talks.

"If last week Micheál Martin was saying he wasn't going to talk to Fine Gael and this week he saying he is, then very clearly Micheál Martin changes his mind on these matters."

A number of talks are continuing between the different parties on Friday.

Left wing party People Before Profit and Rise TD Paul Murphy will meet the Green Party leader Eamon Ryan to try and form an alliance.

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Political news