Michael McGrath denies similarities between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and expects govt deal to pass

Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesperson Michael McGrath has said he is “quietly confident” that his party’s members will vote in favour of the programme for government.
Michael McGrath denies similarities between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and expects govt deal to pass
Michael McGrath said he does not “buy into” the language of civil war politics. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Michael McGrath said he does not “buy into” the language of civil war politics. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesperson Michael McGrath has said he is “quietly confident” that his party’s members will vote in favour of the programme for government.

There had been a respectful debate within the party which had been policy-focused, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

Mr McGrath said he did not “buy into” the language of civil war politics, that was part of history. From now on voters would decide election-by-election on policies, he said.

He had no doubt that in the next election both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael would contest it as separate parties.

The Cork TD also denied that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil were similar. There had been major policy differences between the parties over the years, he said.

Going into coalition was “a huge step, an historic step.” This was “an outstanding opportunity” for Fianna Fáil to secure its identity as a political party.

Another Cork TD, Fine Gael’s Colm Burke, said it would be important for his party to keep its identity during the coalition.

He repeated Tanáiste Simon Coveney’s GAA analogy of two rival parish teams joining forces to create a stronger team despite a history of “taking lumps” out of each other.

He said: "There will be practical challenges, but it would be important for both parties to work together in coalition."

More in this section

Lunchtime News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up