Martin: Dynasties are in the past

FIANNA Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said he does not believe in political dynasties and has vowed to put an end to parliamentary members dominating the embattled party.

In a bid to drum up morale among young members of the party, Mr Martin also signalled there would be reforms of FF next year.

Speaking at the party’s national youth conference in Cork, he led a personal attack on Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The Government’s honeymoon in office had ended, he claimed, and the coalition had wasted it on “empty spinning and cynical U-turns”.

FF must be totally open to new people, new ideas and new thinking, he said, adding: “The distance which grew between our leaders and our members in the past played a big part in us losing our way, and I am determined that this will not and cannot happen again. The days of a parliamentary party attempting to decide everything in isolation from the membership are over for good.”

Party reforms would be voted on at next year’s Árd Fheis, he said, reiterating a promise that at least one candidate under the age of 30 in every local authority would contest the 2014 local elections.

The efforts of by-election candidate David McGuinness, 25, to retain the late Brian Lenihan’s seat in Dublin West were also praised.

“I want people to know that this is a party which welcomes people who have no background in politics but want to make a contribution to public life. I don’t believe in dynasties, I believe in hard work and a better future,” he added.

Mr Martin attacked the Government’s record on education as well as job creation.

He took a personal swipe at Mr Kenny’s record in Europe.

“Enda Kenny has attended five summit meetings as Taoiseach, but has yet to table a single item for discussion at one of those meetings. His only European policy has been to meekly sit on his hands and hope that something emerges that he can claim credit for.

A Government spokesman rejected Mr Martin’s claims, adding: “This government under Enda Kenny’s leadership has succeeded when you compare it to the previous government, which Mr Martin was a member of.”

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