Micheál Martin: Easy thing would be to pull plug

It would be easier and more beneficial for Fianna Fail to pull the plug and call a general election, Micheál Martin has admitted.

In recent weeks, scandal after scandal has plagued the minority Government from the revelation that a Tusla file had been held on whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe, to the uncovering of a mass burial at the Tuam mother and baby home, to the exaggeration of Garda breath testing.

The Fianna Fáil leader has said during that time as the Government stumbled from one crisis to another, it would have been “easy” to call another election.

In an interview with the Irish Examiner, Mr Martin said: “If you are looking after your own electoral advantage you could have pulled the plug, certainly in that period.”

However, he added: “I think we have demonstrated our bona fides, a lot of people were criticising us for not pulling the plug, whereas at the beginning of Government everyone was said we would be a cynical crowd of you-know-what we would pull the plug at the first available opportunity.

“So Fianna Fáil, in some respects, are going to be damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

“And we get name called that we are populists.”

Mr Marin claimed that the public do not want to go to the polls again and there is a need to maintain the confidence in supply agreement hammered out by the two main parties.

“I think people are looking for a different kind of politics too, I think people don’t want an election, is the strong sense we have, it’s half and half at this stage it’s getting more as things begin to get more ropy on some of the issues.

“But by and large people would like some sort of stability.”

Pointing to the early 1980s where there were three elections in 18 months, he said: “It’s easy to pass motions, it’s easy to pull the plug in some respects.

“The hardest thing is trying to get things done and things in place.

“We are going to continue with that to try and get improvements in certain areas,” said Mr Martin.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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