Fianna Fáil had ‘open and honest meeting' at Cavan think-in, says Taoiseach
Micheál Martin has insisted that Fianna Fáil is united in its “purpose and objectives” following its think-in in Cavan.
The Taoiseach said his party had had an “honest meeting” over the last two days, during which internal opponents of Mr Martin made clear their dissatisfaction with Fianna Fáil’s recent electoral performance and future prospects.
Asked today if the party is united, the leader said: “There would be something wrong if there was unanimity of perspective and views.”
But he insisted that Fianna Fáil is united “in terms of purpose and objectives and in terms of what the party wants to do”.
The Taoiseach said the party will “get moving” on the recommendations set out in the report into its performance at the recent general and European elections.
Speaking as the think-in came to an end, Mr Martin said: “We’ve had a very good open and honest meeting. It was lengthy because I think members got the opportunity to speak fully and comprehensively on their views, on the last election, where the party is, on what we can advance and grow the party.
“What was very clear is there is a collective willingness to work together on a unified basis, to get moving on the recommendations on the report and take the challenges whilst in government.
“Historically, there has always been that challenge while in government, parallel to looking after the party as well as promoting the party, and I think that will take significant skillset from us.
“That is something we have to focus on, and as leader of the party, and also take on board the number of views that were articulated and make sure that we are very inclusive with the way forward and developing the party.
“Critically, the party is there as a vehicle for the people of Ireland, to work for the people of Ireland.”
A long closed-door session of the parliamentary party ended at 11.30pm yesterday, before resuming this morning as TDs and senators continued to discuss the party’s fortunes.
During yesterday’s meeting, former minister Barry Cowen and senior TD Jim O’Callaghan were among those criticising the party’s leadership.
Leaving the talks, one senior Fianna Fáil figure said there had been some “passionate” speeches, but described the meeting as largely positive.