Leaders’ press interviews - ‘New politics’ may be on way

TWO major press interviews, just published, by two political heavyweights, suggest we are about to enter a new era in Irish politics.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams reveals in this newspaper that while he aims to remain party leader for the next general election, he recognises the torch will be passed to a new generation in the not-too-distant future. That has implications not just for Sinn Féin but for other political parties as well.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, meanwhile, has been indicating to the Sunday Business Post that while his party will never consider going into coalition with Sinn Féin, it is not ruling out entering into a ‘supply and confidence’ arrangement with the party, similar to that which it currently has with Fine Gael.

Supply and confidence deals are all the rage these days, also operating in the UK between the Tories and the DUP. The deal struck by Fianna Fáil more than a year ago with Fine Gael is set to last until 2018, at which point a general election is expected to be called and that is likely to be the catalyst for real change.

These subtle shifts in both leaders’ positions indicate that the traditional FF/FG pendulum of power is shifting and that we may be on the cusp of the biggest shake-up for decades in the Irish political landscape.

The so-called ‘new politics’ may then finally be upon us.

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