Over 40 days ago, we cast our votes in our General Election with both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil failing to reach a majority to govern. The political circus has turned in what has been described by some as a farce as Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil wrestle for control of the Dáil.
Both parties have courted support from smaller parties and Independents, but with Fine Gael on 50 seats and Fianna Fáil on 44, we are no closer to Government formation. We all know Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have pride at stake and would refuse if possible to go into a grand coalition, but the time has come for our two largest parties to put their differences aside and put the needs of the country ahead of self preservation.
This morning, speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney the Fine Gael offer of sharing power with Fianna Fáil is a “genuine, real offer” and that it is in the “best interests of the country for the two large parties to come together”. He continued “That is the only option, along with Independents, to create real balance and diversity in that government to provide stability and voting strength”.
It is clear that Fine Gael are ready to put Civil War Politics aside, to cast off the shackles of our troubled past and to join forces with Fianna Fáil to help solve the homeless crisis, to bring an end to people on trolleys in our hospitals and to keep our country moving forward for a better Ireland for us all.
Already, Fianna Fáil are falling over themselves to denounce such an idea. Limericks Willie O’Dea has already said he will not support Fine Gael’s proposal for a “full partnership government” between the two parties and believes the offer will be rejected by Fianna Fáil.
Also speaking on RTE Radio this morning, O’Dea said people voted to “get rid of Enda Kenny as Taoiseach” and certainly did not vote for Fianna Fáil to share “mercs and perks” with Fine Gael.
The offer effectively constitutes an invitation to coalition, an option which Micheál Martin and his ministers have repeatedly and adamantly rejected
The question is now, will Fianna Fáil go into coalition with Fine Gael or will they insult the Irish people by asking us to go back to the polls. It seems that Fianna Fáil are more concerned about self preservation from a rising Sinn Féin popularity than actually serving the Irish people as political representatives.
Anything other than coalition and government formation is an insult to the Irish people but also to the hard work of local Fianna Fáil representatives we have in Tipperary. Cllrs Smith, Hanafin, Goldsboro and Hogan to name but a few are representing the people of Tipperary on a daily basis. The performance of the parliamentary party has profound impact on their roles
If we are asked to go back to another election after voting for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in such numbers with over 94 seats between them, then the blame should be firmly based on the 44 Fianna Fáil TD’s who we elected