Sinn Féin 'willing' to talk to others about sharing power after election

Sinn Féin 'willing' to talk to others about sharing power after election

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has said her party is always "willing" to talk to others about sharing power after the next election.

She made her comments as Sinn Féin welcomed its newly elected TD Mark Ward to Leinster House this morning, following his election in last week's Dublin Mid-West by-election.

Mr Ward said his first action in the Dáil would be to vote against Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy in tonight's motion against him.

Speaking in Leinster House, Ms McDonald said her party would campaign in the expected general election early next year and was then willing to talk to other parties about working together.

“We're going to set out a really progressive deliverable programme for advancement in housing, in health, in people's income levels, in childcare.

“We're going to go and fight the campaign and we're going to maximize our strength and then we're going to talk to people after the election.

We will talk to everybody. And we will also listen, and we will set out what a Republican programme for government looks like and the challenge then will be, not so much for us, the challenge will be for others to respond in kind.

"And to tell us, are they up for sourcing housing? Are they up for sorting out the health service?"

Ms McDonald had been asked by the Irish Examiner whether she and the party would negotiate with Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil, given they had campaigned against both for last week's by-election.

She said: "There's no ideal partners for us in Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil.

“There isn't an inch of difference between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. We know that, But we also know that we're charged with driving and delivering change and we are really serious about that.”

Newly elected TD Mark Ward said that he had campaigned against the housing minister on the doorsteps and would, with his party, vote against Mr Murphy in tonight's Social Democrats motion.

He said there were people in his constituency having to pay excessive amounts in rents, to live out of hotels and to share box rooms.

People are “sick of austerity politics,” he said.

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