Michael McDowell: Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil afraid to form govt because of Sinn Féin

Michael McDowell: Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil afraid to form govt because of Sinn Féin

Former Tánaiste Michael McDowell has accused the country's two biggest parties of allowing their fear of Sinn Féin to stop them from forming a new Government.

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have yet to sit down for coalition talks together, but both have spent weeks trying to secure the backing of Independents before Wednesday's vote for Taoiseach.

So far Enda Kenny's party has tried to win over TDs with a deal on the housing crisis, but the most recent opinion poll shows the public would prefer Micheál Martin to lead the coalition.

However, there is still no sign of a agreement and Mr McDowell says that is because they are afraid of Gerry Adams' party.

He said: "Sinn Féin got 13% of the vote, so if the two parties who are there are looking over their shoulder at Sinn Féin and afraid to do their real function, which is to participate in government for fear of giving Sinn Féin a leg up, I think that is a major mistake."

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