Republic of Ireland news

TD calls on Sinn Fein to renew efforts to form left-leaning government

Richard Boyd Barrett, a People Before Profit TD, raised the issue of the exploratory oil drill at Woodburn Forest in the Dáil. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire
Aine McMahon, Press Association

A left-leaning Irish Government is still possible if Sinn Fein re-enters talks with smaller parties, a TD has said.

Solidarity People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd-Barrett has urged Sinn Fein to re-enter talks with other groups on the left to try and form a government.

It comes as the Green Party is to enter formal government talks with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael on Thursday.

READ MORE: Irish government formation talks to begin this week

Mr Boyd-Barrett has written to Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald regarding attempts to form a government.

Speaking at Leinster House on Wednesday, he said: "Efforts to establish a left minority government went on pause during the Covid-19 crisis.

"We think it is now urgent to challenge the inevitable return to power of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael."

"We had an overwhelming historic demand for an alternative to Fianna Fail and Fine Gael on February 8 and I think, in the aftermath of the public health emergency, it is even more important to have an alternative to the failed policies that left us with a huge crisis in health, housing and deepening inequalities in Irish society."

"I hope Sinn Fein and other parties on the left will renew their efforts to try and create a genuine left, alternative government that will give effect to the demand for change that we saw in the general election."

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald

Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell said a left-leaning government is not possible.

"Sinn Fein and the hard left made a half-hearted attempt at government talks after the general election.

"In the immediate aftermath of what was a fragmented election result, Fine Gael stood back and gave space to those parties to engage with each other and deliver on the mandate they said they had received.

"As we all know, those talks went absolutely nowhere and fell apart almost immediately.

"Faced with no progress on government formation, we have proposed the commencement of talks with Fianna Fail and the Green Party.

"In the midst of a global and national crisis, there is a need for serious talks, which we propose to undertake in good faith with those two parties."

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