Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin arriving at government buildings this afternoon
Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin may regret playing the long game.
Eamonn Farrell writes:
We all know it is Enda Kenny’s dream to become the first leader of Fine Gael to be returned to government as Taoiseach, but It is not too long ago that Micheál Martin said ‘I will probably be the first leader of Fianna Fail, never to become taoiseach’.
How is it then, Micheál Martin has decided to throw caution to the wind and to the detriment of the country, go for the even bigger historic prize of being Taoiseach of a FF single party government, when the proposed FG led minority government collapses in chaos.
Is it really possible that this is the FF plan? The answer is Yes. Based alone on childish excuse that they cannot accept Enda Kenny’s ground breaking offer of partnership (coalition) government, because they promised the electorate that they would not go into coalition with FG
First of all it is difficult to imagine this being an issue with FF supporters on the doorstep in the lead up to the election as there were few early indicators that FG were going to lose as many seats as they did. And even less indicators that FF were going to win as many extra seats as they did. So why would possible coalition between FF and FG be a major issue on the doorsteps, when health, housing, jobs and water etc. were the main issues surfacing in the media and radio phone-in’s?
Secondly, If as Micheál Martin claims, they are precluded from going into coalition with Fine Gael because of commitments they made to their supporters, how can he square offering to support a FG led minority government, which means endorsing its policies with far less input than would be the case if they were an equal partner in a partnership or coalition government?
When you wipe away all the spin, there is only one logical answer, Micheál and his advisors have come to the conclusion that if they let FG and a disparate group of well-meaning but incompatible independents form a government, there will only be one outcome, total disillusionment by the electorate with FG and independents, resulting in the opportunity for FF under Michael Martin to return the grand prize of a single party government.
Far fetched? One had just to look at the muscle-flexing taking place in the person of FF TDs like Barry Cowen, to see that all elements of any responsibility for creating the economic collapse of the country has been excised from their memories.
Fine Gael and Labour bore sole responsibility for the state of the health service, housing crisis, etc, and the Soldiers of Destiny are going to ride in and rescue the country from further mayhem, whenever their strategists reckon the time is right to pull the plug.
The problem is, a rather weary electorate with short term memories, may indeed concur with their plan.
One suspects that if Brian Lenihan, had survived and become leader of FF, he would have had the foresight and courage to grasp Enda Kenny’s offer as quickly as he did the invitation to speak at the Michael Collins Beal na Blath Commemoration in West Cork in 2010.
Micheál Martin is not without courage, as he displayed in pushing through the ground breaking cigarette ban, when Minister for Health. Or again, when he resigned from the government in 2011, to challenge Brian Cowen.
Now he has the chance, not only to go down in history as a mould breaker by taking up Kenny’s partnership offer, but also to do the right thing for a country crying out for statesmen, not just run of the mill political party leaders.
Eamonn Farrell is founder of Rollingnews.ie
MM gets so much credit for the cigarette ban but if my memory is correct the groundwork for that came from an Alan Shatter and Shane Ross led committee….. I could be slightly off the mark there but it doesn’t change the fact that MM only signed/enacted it.
Didn’t he come up with the Voting Machines too, but had moved to health by the time the arrives and blew up in Dempsey’s face
I can’t find the members of that oireachtas committee but this is an overview of the timeline and people involved:
Thanks Deluded. Anyone who goes through the info on the Irish Times link will see that in the case of the cigarette ban, Big Mickey did indeed take his balls in his hands and run with the proposal. Was he alone, of course not, but it was his signature that had to go on the Bill. As regards other comments regarding Kenny, Martin and Lenihan. Anything I wrote must be taken in the context of moving beyond Civil War politics. And anyone who is prepared to take on that task, for whatever reason, has my support. Why, because in the long run it will benefit the development of a proper democratic political system, where a party’s political colours are not camouflaged as a result of the internal feuding of almost 100 years ago.
‘Twas a good thing that he did as Minister for Health.
I can’t help feeling thought that it was a smart political move to distract from the lack of improvement in the health service despite the huge sums pumped into it.
you appear to have drunk a lot of Kool-Aid. advise you get yourself to the nearest A&E stat!
heee heeee who writes this s—e??
this article would almost lead you to believe that Kenny is some sort of visionary….and as for either of these as statesmen?! comedy hour
“Brian Lenihan, foresight and courage in the same sentence?”
And Eamonn Farrell accuses COwen of forgetting the mess FF caused?
Pot kettle Eamonn, Brian Lenihan was a courageless disaster.
Lenihan was beside the point.
The real damage had been done.
And the FF front bench so devoid of talent that a barrister with absolutely no knowledge of finance was the best they had to offer as the global financial crisis came crashing in on our over-extended financial system.
As if matters.
Nothing more or less.
*gets house valuation*
Eamonn Farrell, what a load of fg drivel is this load of crap you wrote. Unsettling biased, fg single handedly sorted out the country and ff single handedly destroyed it. The FG Labour government has been the most corrupt I have ever seen and will end up unfolding in courts and tribunals soon. Thier best mate denis made billions during their reign again, big phil destroyed the building industry, water meters, and site serve. Finally you never seen the the banking inquiry or its reports.
Wake up Tom, until the illusion of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael presenting the electorate with major political alternatives has been put to bed, there will be no political progress. And by the way, if the electorate are not prepared to come out and vote in the Labour Party as the senior partner in a coalition government, what do you expect. The Irish Labour Party’s hardcore vote is represented by 10/12 TD’s. The rest are floating voters who attach when Labour are in opposition, and believe in pie in the sky election promises which cannot be delivered as junior partners. And these floating voters then run to their Mammies crying like disappointed children. Are you one of those Tom.?
‘FG Labour government has been the most corrupt I have ever seen’
This is utter nonsense. They have been pretty poor & we NEED much better.
But better for sure than the sleaze, irresponsibility & incompetence of the previous three FF-led terms of office. Self-certification for builders, reckless pumping of a property bubble post-2000, support for Ray Burke, a Taoiseach (and previously minister of finance) with ‘no bank account’ and ‘lucky’ with the horses, the stitch-up around the guarantee, complete absence of reform of civil service for decades, half-arsed decentralisation, a planning system in disarray leaving irreparable damage to the environment and economy of many small towns, endless, ‘unfortunately’ badly-framed tribunals, a lack of action on the findings of tribunals, a toothless response to white-collar crime,…etc.
That’s before we delve back into CJH, etc.
And FG Labour were better how?
I think a better way of saying this is that FG/LAB do a DIFFERENT kind of corrupt. we all tend to look at CJH as the most corrupt but it’s just that his was most brutally obvious, he literally lined his own pockets, because he did what the system in front of him allowed him to…the corrupt system today is multilayered, less obv and hard to see, a bit like these modern offshore finance solutions. ‘Redacted’ -need I say more? These lads play the system that’s in front of them, to benefit themselves, their mates and those that believe in their ideals be that trickle down economics or whatever. Their aim is not to serve their country to do what’s right and proper for all, it’s to do what’s best for themselves.
FG no better than FF but I do get that, they ARE the same Right hand after all.
LAB were collectively as bad as CJH in a way, the party wanted a power trip and they got it and I’ll never forgive them, Joan opening soup kitchens ffs, it’s Python stuff.
The system is the problem
This great fg lab gov have a lot to answer for!!! Selling off all assets to vultures and denis. We have a hotel room crisis in dublin as there full of social welfare families and at the same time they brought in new laws were builders hands are tied so they cant build. Signed certifiers cost 17000 per unit, developments must be fully complete before people move in vat 23% new energy regulations. The cheapest the government can build on free land is 248K for temporary modular buildings. So untill that changes expect lots more homeless, social problems and soup kitchens and still more rent increases.
Your beloved FG are corrupt the site serv deal, topaz, project eagle and when all in unvealed who are the backers of the american vultures are
The two largest parties have over 90 seats between them, there is not a whit
of difference in their policies, all there at is trying to shaft the various independent
groupings, so if they are daft enough to support them, then can be held to blame
for the cockups….if Micheal Fitzmaurice can’t see this by now he should not
be in the Dail at all….all this manouvering has gone on for nearly 50 days, is it a game of trying to find out….who is the “cutest hoor”.
Tbf Enda has a big stake in forming a govt ’cause if he fails, he will be deposed.
FF clearly don’t want to form a govt believing that either
1) if they do, SF will be the only real opposition & will op up next time around OR
2) they may do better in the next election
Also, I think FF aren’t remotely ready, even by their own lights. They never believed they’d do this well – more fool us.
FF should be punished for this selfish cynicism but that, sadly, does not look likely…