Government talks: Gerry Adams slams ‘charade’ but Sinn Féin fails to back a candidate

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, surrounded by some of the party's TDs, speaks to the media ahead of the Dáil vote. Picture: Collins

Gerry Adams has criticised the fact that ministers rejected by voters are still implementing policies; and “well-paid” TDs are only in the Dáil for a few hours for the “charade” to elect a taoiseach.

The Sinn Féin leader said serious issues such as child poverty and homelessness need to be addressed, instead of just inconclusive votes for a taoiseach. However, his criticism came as Sinn Féin again failed to nominate or support a candidate for taoiseach — the primary role of TDs since the general election seven weeks ago.

“Public patience is wearing very thin with both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. They need to get real and come up with an agreement for a government soon. I don’t believe these have been serious negotiations. No one ever really believed that Fianna Fáil could win support for a Fianna Fáil-led minority government. It’s all been part of the charade and the two large conservative parties trying to outmanoeuvre one another.”

With government formation talks dominating the Dáil agenda, there is no discussion on the 1,972 patients left lying on hospital trolleys, or the 5,800 people currently in emergency accommodation, Mr Adams said. Instead, both Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin are trying to “outmanoeuvre each other”, he said. They are putting their “personalities before country”; their “egos before citizens’ rights,” he added.

Ministers, who lost their seats, are also still running the country, Mr Adams said. “Ministers are going ahead with policies they have no mandate for at all.”

Meanwhile, Mr Adams also explained why his party is opposing EU changes to the sharing of names to combat terrorism, agreed in Brussels yesterday: “Every state has the right and the duty to protect their citizens. We are not convinced this measure will enhance security for citizens or for states.”

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