Fianna Fáil TDs consider alliance with old enemy Fine Gael

Momentum is building within Fianna Fáil for the party to consider going into government with Fine Gael after several TDs said such an option must be examined if the party emerges as the larger one after the election.
Fianna Fáil TDs consider alliance with old enemy Fine Gael

Limerick TD Niall Collins said he had “no problem with” Fine Gael “propping up” Fianna Fáil, while others said they would have a duty to form a government if Fine Gael was willing to review its policies.

The issue of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael sharing power is generating debate, with polls showing the latter not having enough support with Labour to form a government.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin again tried to close the door on the matter yesterday when he told the Irish Examiner that his party, if it got the most TDs, would work with like-minded people, including the Social Democrats, but would not rely on Fine Gael for support in government.

“Fine Gael are not in that category as far as I’m concerned.” However, some party TDs had other views when contacted.

Laois-Offaly TD Barry Cowen said: “We can’t implement our policies in opposition. I’d rather not [go in with them]. But if we are in a position of strength, if the public endorse those policies, we have an obligation to implement them.”

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Longford-Westmeath TD Robert Troy said if Fianna Fáil was the largest party and needed to rely on Fine Gael it would have to look at its “responsibilities”.

Galway East TD Colm Keaveney agreed: “As a senior party, it would be based on policies being compatible. If they [Fine Gael] reviewed their Tory policies and their approach, they would be considered like other parties.”

Former Fianna Fáil ministers Noel Dempsey and Dermot Ahern have already said a grand coalition or supporting Fine Gael from opposition should be reconsidered depending on the election result.

Similarly, frontbench TD Willie O’Dea has also hinted at the prospect in recent days.

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