'No one voted to compel FF to go into government with SF' - TD doesn't want parties to talk

'No one voted to compel FF to go into government with SF' - TD doesn't want parties to talk
Jim O'Callaghan. Picture: PA

A leading Fianna Fáil TD has warned he will not serve in government in any coalition involving his party and Sinn Féin.

Fianna Fáil's new and returning TDs and senators will debate the issue when its parliamentary party meets on Thursday at midday in Leinster House.

But ahead of that, the party's justice spokesman Jim O'Callaghan has warned that Sinn Féin's manifesto election promises, if implemented, would “turn the country into Venezuela”.

Frontbench Fianna Fáil TDs are divided on whether the party should consider sharing power with Sinn Féin after the dramatic general election results.

Leader Micheál Martin has not ruled it out, saying their are “significant incompatibilities” between his party and Sinn Féin. But some of his TDs are more strongly opposed to any such coalition.

Mr O'Callaghan told RTÉ that there was “no purpose in going through the charade of talks” with Sinn Féin about coalition options. He pointed out that Sinn Féin had done the same and refused to meet other parties about setting up a government after the 2016 general election.

He added:

“No one voted to compel Fianna Fáil to go into government with Sinn Féin” and that its voters would be "annoyed" if the party did so.

It was up to the collection of the estimated 74 left-wing TDs now elected to the new 33rd Dail to come together, including Sinn Féin, and put their plans for a government to the public, added Mr O'Callaghan.

However, he went further and revealed that he would refuse to serve in a government, if the opportunity arose, involving Sinn Féin. He would sit on the Fianna Fáil backbenches, he told RTÉ.

“I wouldn't serve in any [such] government,” he explained.

Mr O'Callaghan was also highly critical of Sinn Féin's manifesto, which he argued, if rolled out, would be a "disaster" for Ireland and "turn the country into Venezuela".

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