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#Elections2019: Micheál Martin open to another coalition with the Green Party

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, second right, with Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, his wife Georgina and daughters Deborah and Michelle, at the counting of votes for the local elections at City Hall, Cork. Picture: David Keane

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said he is "amused" at mounting General Election speculation.

However Mr Martin has signalled that he would look to go into Government with the Green Party in the future.

His comments come after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar refused to rule out calling a General Election in the Autumn instead of holding by-elections to replace at least current TDs who are expected to be elected to the EU.

After arriving at the Ireland South count centre in Cork, Mr Martin said: "I amused at all this talk of a General Election, my position is consistent, it's the position I set out before Christmas.

I have never looked at local elections as a catalyst for a General Election and I don't look at the Europeans as a catalyst for a General Election, I take it one step at a time.

He added that Fianna Fáil is prepared to "work constructively towards a budget" stating that they had extended the confidence and supply agreement to take account of this.

"If the Taoiseach has different views, those are a matter for the Taoiseach. I am not so sure he was as clear cut as people have suggested on that today, obviously by-elections have to happen.

"We will see the outcome of those by-elections, they may not materially affect the situation in the Dáil it depends who wins the seats and we don't know who is going to win seats in European.

"Let's take it one step at a time, I think people love exciting news," he said.

Asked about the possibility of a second coalition with the Greens after their massive surge in the local elections, Mr Martin said: "Obviously we worked well with the Greens in the past in Government through very difficult times.

"I would argue that the Fianna Fáil-Green Government was far stronger on climate change than the Fine Gael-Labour Government and indeed the Fine Gael-Independent Government."

He added that the local elections have introduced new blood into the party, which he hopes could be built on in a General Election.

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