Fianna Fáil TDs open to deal with Fine Gael despite Martin denials

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has again tried to shut the door on the possibility of entering coalition with Fine Gael, despite several of his TDs saying they would consider such a deal if the party is the stronger one after the election.

Fianna Fáil TDs open to deal with Fine Gael despite Martin denials

Niall Collins yesterday said he would consider agreeing to Fine Gael “propping up” a Fianna Fáil government, something he did “not have a problem with”. Other party TDs said they would also consider this, if the numbers favoured Fianna Fáil.

But in an interview with the Irish Examiner, Mr Martin ruled out working with Fine Gael: “As a majority party in government, we would want to work with like-minded people. Others in particular, such as the Social Democrats, would share our principles. Fine Gael are not in that category as far as I’m concerned.”

Asked yesterday about Fine Gael propping up a Fianna Fáil government, Mr Collins said: “If we’re the biggest party, if they want to come in and prop up us, that’s a different kettle of fish. That’s something I wouldn’t have a problem with.”

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Dublin Central candidate Mary Fitzpatrick also agreed: “If after the election, they [FG] decide to have a road to Damascus, a revelation, and come our way, looking to support us…I think we’ll listen to support.”

When contacted, TDs including Barry Cowen, Robert Troy and Colm Keaveney said, under certain circumstances, such a scenario could be examined, while others including Sean Fleming and Dara Calleary, were against the idea.

Meanwhile, Mr Martin revealed that he stopped a robbery at his family home in Cork last year.

“It was an attempted car robbery. I intercepted it in the middle of the morning. I shouted out the bathroom window and we called the gardaí. The two guys escaped. But they were inside the car.”

The party yesterday launched its election promises to tackle crime.

Elsewhere, the first of the televised election debates will be held between the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Joan Burton, Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin, and Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams.

TV3 will host the 90-minute debate from 9pm, with six topics discussed over three 25-minute segments. The debate will be hosted by Pat Kenny and Colette Fitzpatrick.

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