Mammy’s Cross

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From top:  Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher, Independent TD Denis Naughten, Fine Gael TD Simon Harris  and Former deputy leader of Fianna Fáil Mary O’Rourke

This morning.

Official Ireland’s freak out continues.

On RTÉ’s Today With Seán O’Rourke.

Mr O’Rourke spoke to a number of politicians and former politicians, including former deputy leader of Fianna Fáil Mary O’Rourke; Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher; Independent TD Denis Naughten and Fine Gael TD Simon Harris.

Listeners were also informed that RTÉ had requested someone from Sinn Féin to join the show but this did not happen.

The panel discussion followed Fianna Fáil taking 38 Dáil seats (which includes the seat of the Ceann Comhairle); Sinn Féin 37; Fine Gael 35; Independents/Others 21; Green Party 12; Labour 6; Social Democrats 6; and Solidarity/People Before Profit 5, in the general election.

Former deputy leader of Fianna Fáil Mary O’Rourke said:

“Now, the momentum right now is with the Sinn Féin party and its leadership as they go around to gather like-minded people…”

“My belief now is that when that day comes [the election of a Taoiseach], when, if Mary Lou McDonald will be put forward as the leader of her party for the role of Taoiseach that Fianna Fáil should not participate in that vote…”

“…But for me now, I’m quite clear and I want it, to say it, we stick with Micheál Martin because for me and for many of my ilk, he is the person who is still the best to lead us out of the electoral difficulties in which we now find ourselves. You didn’t ask me about that but I’m telling you that.”

Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher said:

“The idea that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael would find some small party and coalesce in advance of giving the process of the people’s will an opportunity to play out would simply be an affront to democracy. I mean, we have to accept that Sinn Féin has 37 seats. It’s the largest popular vote.

“Mary Lou McDonald has said quite clearly she wants to put together a coalition that would exclude Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and, you know, there’s an obligation on her to try and ensure…”

“…if Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael somehow got together today or tomorrow, brought in a few Independents, and rammed through into Government, what do you think would be said by Sinn Féin and everybody else and the public at large…”

Independent TD Denis Naughten, who was re-elected in Roscommon/Galway on the fifth count, said:

“The reality is that no one’s manifesto got a clear mandate from the people whether it was the Sinn Féin manifesto, the Fianna Fáil manifesto, the Fine Gael manifesto or any manifesto.

“And I believe what needs to happen in this stage is to allow time for the parties to consult with their own organisations, that they should sit down, everyone, around a single table and negotiate a national programme for Government that would take in the best elements of the various manifestos.

“Because the one thing that I got on the doorsteps from people is that they’re sick and tired of the political bickering that has been going on. They want to see politicians collectively coming together and implement practical solutions in terms of health, housing, regional balance, agriculture and so forth…”

“…yes, this is a hung parliament so to speak that we now have as a result of the vote of the electorate but that’s what the electorate voted for. The responsibility is on us now to form an operational government.”

Former Minister for Health Fine Gael TD Simon Harris, who was re-elected in Wicklow last night on the 15th count, said:

“I agree with Billy Kelleher on this. That the process should be that Mary Lou McDonald is the leader of the largest party, who got the most votes in the election. She should now do what she said she was going to do.

“She made a lot of promises, a lot of commitments, let her off now and see if she can try and form a Government.

“I wish her well in that regard.

“…if she can’t, if she can’t, I do think there’s an obligation on the centre of Irish politics, which still won a hell of a lot of votes by the way. You would think from some of the media commentary that everybody voted Sinn Féin – 76% of people did not vote for Sinn Féin to be in Government.”

Asked if he thinks Leo Varadkar should step down as leader of Fine Gael, Mr Harris said:

“Absolutely not…our Taoiseach has performed extremely well, he performed very well as leader, he did extremely well in the debates…”

“…this was a very difficult election. It was a very difficult election for all parties but Sinn Féin. And Leo Varadkar is the leader of Fine Gael and will continue to be the leader of Fine Gael and whether in Government or in opposition, he’ll continue to promote our policies and values.”

Listen back in full here

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27 thoughts on “Mammy’s Cross

  1. class wario

    “People are sick of the politicking!” *30 seconds later* “teeheehee, SF got the most votes, they should get on with forming a government the big wasters!”

    1. Clampers Outside

      Odd comment that, if that’s what you got from reading the transcript.

      I wonder is that what you get from SF supporters who say the exact same thing?

      1. class wario

        To my knowledge, McDonald has already begun to contact other, non-FF/FG parties about a potential coalition. Everybody accuses them of being hurlers on the ditch but they’ve made the only real moves towards forming a government to date. FG by comparison are clearly playing a long game: they’re making out like SF have the only clear mandate and putting pressure on them to either cobble together something ASAP (either a grand left coalition which is unlikely numerically and realistically or with FF, knowing this would/could hurt voters of both parties) or fail to do so, knowing that they could then pin this failure on SF. SF have done nothing equivalent to this, context included, to date. It is pure politcking and follows them agreeing that people want less of such politicking! FG have 2 less seats, when are they going to start picking up the phone?

        1. Spaghetti Hoop

          I suggest a Whatsapp group for these government-forming deliberations. Drive them mad with pings.

        2. Rob_G

          Who would go into government with FG after that election?

          SF has a lot more potential suitors than FG, so they should make their play.

        3. Clampers Outside

          Mary Lou said herself that she was looking for a coalition of the Left first. She prioritised as she saw fit, and she not to speak to FF or FG first.

          You seem to pretend, ignore or have forgotten this is what she said she wants to do, to look Left first, and prioritise that.

          If FG, who are far less likely than FF to join with SF, decide they have taken a beating and that they believe the people want change, is that not reasonable?

          As for FF, they are split, with their the party being torn from within with those who would and those who wouldn’t go in with SF. And until they can sort that, no one in the party can make a.move as to do so would be quite simply… stupid.

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      Makes no difference whether Mammy is upset, cross, happy, lonely, nostalgic, reminiscent, having a buzz – she’s on radio and TV CONSTANTLY.

  2. V

    That was a blatant agreed ramp up between them all

    Of course Mammy was going to go all old Fianna Fail for Meehall
    And the use of the popular vote by Billie was scripted Gas Lighting at its best
    And Denis – who happens to be one of the smartest blueshurts there is
    Independent my rhymes with poll

    They’re setting up Mary Lou – and Sinn Fein
    Giving them the rope as it were

    That’s what they were all at
    Including O’Rourke (not mammy the other one)

    1. Paulus

      Mammy O’Rourke is in her 80s, and while I wish her good health, she should just go away:

      For many years now she’s perfected a naughty interviewee routine where she indicates that she’s going to say something “bold” …and let no one try and stop her. (She probably reaches over and pats the interviewer on the arm while saying so. I’d say she brings a fug of passive-aggression into the studio with her).
      She epitomises the old FF “royalty” who came from the divine-right-to-govern era:
      If she’d only take an objective look at her family she’d realise that brother; Mature-Reflection Brian, and nephew Rabbit-in-the-Headlights Crazy Horse were/are nothing to be proud of.

  3. perricrisptayto

    ‘I’m not worth my €290k RTE salary’ – Radio host Sean O’Rourke speaks candidly about wages.
    May 01 2016 01:30 AM .

    You weren’t wrong Sean, could easily remove the last two zeros and you’d still be overpaid.

    Why is Mammy O’Rourke even relevant in this day and age, she’s had a fine time of it at the taxpayers expense, time to give it a rest.

    1. J Dizzle

      I think SO’R is great. Now in saying that 290k in a very very high salary for a radio host, I think he a great Journalist and has a decent show. The way he let Maria Bailey dismantle herself was very skilled.

  4. frank

    We were fed the stinking tripe for the last 4 years that the country needed stability while the ace team of Fine Gael expert mediators negotiated a deal for us with the British cabinet.
    Now suddenly Fine Gaels ability to mediate and negotiate has evaporated when it comes to brokering a deal at home for the actual stability of the country rather than the manufactured stability of BREXIT negotiations.

  5. GiggidyGoo

    RTE will have its funding looked at in earnest if SF do form a government. That’s FFs Sean O Rourkes worry. And Pat Kenny’s boss wont be receiving any more dig outs. Guess where that axe will fall.

  6. Clampers Outside

    I see SF supporters and candidates say the same thing this lot have said, does that mean the SF candidates are opting for political suicide?

    it would appear ‘yes’ if the above comments are anything to go by.

  7. Iwerzon

    Hey Simon – 64% of the electorate didn’t vote for the ‘current’ FG Government in the last election plus 0% of the electorate voted for Varadkar to be Taoiseach.

    1. Rob_G

      Simon Harris has just suggested that his party shouldn’t be the one forming a government, so your vacuous statement is completely pointless…

      1. Iwerzon

        Hey Simon – 64% of the electorate didn’t vote for the ‘current’ FG Government in the 2016 election

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