Martin does not rule out 'grand coalition' with Fine Gael, or another election

Martin does not rule out 'grand coalition' with Fine Gael, or another election

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has not ruled out a "grand coalition" with Fine Gael as various parties engage in talks to form the next government.

Speaking this evening, Mr Martin said he would speak to Fine Gael as well as to the Greens, Social Democrats and Labour in a bid to form a government.

Earlier today he ruled out engaging in such talks with Sinn Féin.

He added that in speaking to members of Fianna Fáil over recent days, people "overwhelmingly" felt that Sinn Féin's economic platform was "irreconcilable" with Fianna Fáil's.

Speaking to RTÉ's Six One, he said when asked if he were contemplating a "grand coalition" between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael: "We'll reach out to Fine Gael".

But he added the task of government formation was difficult and that he would not rule out another general election.

He said that no matter the shape of the next government, housing, climate change and health were the "key issues" around which a programme for government would have to be built.

He said housing would have to be dealt with "as an emergency" in any government policy document.

"Any government has to be sustainable and has to be able to deliver its promises on a sound platform...It's not about parties, it is about convincing people that we can make a difference in their lives," he said.

"I believe the country and its people need a government that can radically change."

Asked whether any member of Fianna Fáil had asked him to step aside as party leader in the aftermath of the party's General Election performance, Mr Martin said they had not.

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