From top: Fianna Fáil leader Micheá Martin; This morning’s Irish Times
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin spoke to Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One and raised articles in today’s Irish Times’ articles about the structure, wealth and property portfolio of Sinn Féin.
One of the reports states:
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is correct when he says that Sinn Féin is “not a normal, democratic party”, Sinn Féin’s director of finance has told The Irish Times.
Martin has said that Sinn Féin’s elected representatives are not in control of the party, and that decisions are made by “shadowy figures” and “unelected officials”.
However, what Micheál Martin sees as a problem, the party’s long-term director of finance, Des Mackin, sees as an advantage. Sinn Féin does not want its elected representatives controlling the party, he said.
“We don’t want a parliamentary party running the organisation,” the senior party officer said. “We want to stay a party of activists. It’s a totally different model. There’s nothing mysterious about it.”
Mackin has been the party’s director of finance for years and, prior to that, was joint party treasurer with the veteran republican, the late Joe Cahill. Mackin was convicted of IRA membership in the 1970s.
From Mr Martin’s interview….
Seán O’Rourke: “Do you believe that you have persuaded Fine Gael that you are not for turning on dealing with Sinn Féin?”
Micheál Martin: “Yes.”
O’Rourke: “You believe that Fine Gael…”
Martin: “You know, I would say to people, just read The Irish Times today. There’s a very comprehensive two-page issue…”
Talk over each other
Martin: “…which by the way, Des Mackin, their director of finances said Micheaál Martin is right in what he says. We don’t want the elected representatives controlling the party, that’s black and white. So I dealt with that in the Dáil. But I would just ask people out there to…”
O’Rourke: “I just had the quickest of scans of it and I read the front page story. All it suggests to me, I think, and a lot of readers, would be they’re a very well-organised, they’re a very professional, political outfit.”
Martin: “No, but if you just read it Seán. I mean. I know you’ve acknowledged you haven’t read the full two pages internally but it’s basically saying that those elected by the people, the broad mass of the people, don’t have a direct controlling say and former public representatives, former TDs says the exactly the same.
“In other words they said that a person with a 10,000 electoral mandate has the same say as an activist who’s unelected. That’s what it says…and this isn’t Micheál Martin saying this. It’s…”
Talk over each other
O’Rourke: “I just got a summary handed to me literally as you were saying that. Mr Mackin, who was jailed for IRA membership in the early 1970s, told The Irish Times he did not necessarily disagree with the view of the Fianna Fáil leader that Sinn Féin was run by unelected officials and not its political representatives so that’s the end of that as far as you’re concerned?”
Martin: “Yeah. And if you consider, two weeks ago I was attacked personally by Sinn Féin left, right and centre, high up and low down in a very personalised manner and attacked and yet, two weeks later, their, one of their key operators says the same…”
O’Rourke: “Have you decided you’re prepared to enter coalition with Fine Gael?”
Martin: “Yes. Again, depending on a Programme for Government that works…”
Listen back in full here