From left: Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O Brien, Liberal Democrat former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Nick Clegg, former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine and the Labour Party’s Lord Adonis , Fianna Fail TD Stephen Donnelly
Buswell’s and Leinster House, Dublin 2
The Fianna Fáil-hosted British ‘cross party conference on Brexit and future of Irish Border’ took place with former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine, Liberal Democrat former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Nick Clegg, and the Labour Party’s Lord Adonis in attendance.
Sir Nick, Lord Heseltine and Lord Adonis, all of whom are campaigning to keep the UK in the European Union, are visiting a series of European capitals to shed well-fed tears with like-minded Europhiles.
Fianna Fáil Housing Spokesperson Barry Cowen is undertaking a national housing roadshow starting in Sligo next week.
A series of meetings in towns across the country have been organised to discuss the issues facing homeowners, renters, people on the housing list and those without a home. These local discussions will be incorporated into the party’s housing policy.
The meetings will focus on:
– Social Housing Waiting List & Homelessness
– Rent Crisis
– Home Ownership
– National Planning Framework
Commenting on the Housing Roadshow Deputy Cowen said, “Housing is the key issue facing this Government. Homelessness has reached unprecedented levels, rents are at historic heights, home building numbers are tens of thousands behind where they need to be and some 85,000 people are on the social housing waiting list. All the while, ordinary workers cannot afford a place to own. This series of meetings in towns across the country is designed to raise awareness and get a sense on the ground about where the failings are, and more importantly, what can be done to address them.
“The Government has to start delivering on housing. After four separate plans and over a dozen launches it needs to put bricks and mortar in the ground. However, its flagship Re-Building Ireland plan is behind target already. Supply is the key issue that needs to be addressed to get to grips with the crisis in the private, social and rental sector. Re-Building Ireland has been in place for two years and the crisis is only getting worse.
“I am looking forward to debating the issues and adding to the renewed, focused housing policy which the party will launch after this process is complete.”
“If I’m asked my opinion during the campaign, I’ll give it, but I don’t see myself campaigning,” Martin told The Sunday Times. “I think it will be a different type of campaign. Given the personal nature of the issue, I’m not sure people will want to take direction from politicians. The referendum commission is going to be an important source of information.”
Martin clarified his intentions about the campaign after some Fianna Fail TDs criticised his unexpected declaration of support for repeal last Thursday.
But [pro-life FF TD] Eamon Ó Cuív, a former deputy leader, claimed Martin “is already campaigning by standing up in the Dail and advising people on what they should do; when he gave his views so publicly, he knew he was going to influence people”.
Fianna Fail TDs Timmy Dooley and Stephen Donnelly speak to press on their way into the Fianna Fail front bench meeting at 9.30am.
More as they get it.
On Today with Sean O’Rourke…
“All I’ve heard since yesterday, and I’ll say it again, is nobody wants an election. So can we come back from the brink please of whatever this particular row is over and I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out what the charge is against Frances Fitzgerald…”
Fine Gael’s Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty speaking to Mr O’Rourke now…
“Today’s numbers offer further evidence of the strengthening of the centrist consensus in Irish politics. Since the last general election both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have seen their support grow, slowly but steadily. Both parties are now five points ahead of their result in the last general election.
That time, in February 2016, the two old Civil War parties struggled to hit 50 per cent of the vote – a far cry from the days when they commanded 80 per cent between them. Their opponents hailed it as further evidence of their irreversible decline and the end of the old duopoly. And that’s how it looked.
But that decline has proved not so irreversible. Now their combined support is at 60 per cent. Throw in the Labour Party, the Greens and a lot of the Independents and you have well over two-thirds of voters aligned to broadly centrist politics.”
Leader of Fianna Fáil, Micheal Martin, surrounded by media and colleagues at the start of the party’s Autumn Think In.
In scathing criticism too of the Taoiseach’s emphasis on communications, Mr Martin described the new unit dealing with this in Government Buildings as a political spin machine….
…On the question of the next Government, Mr Martin said again that Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin are incompatible even if there was a new Sinn Féin leader, because, as he put it, “whatever Gerry Adams says, Mary Lou McDonald says”.