Time for FF to end its am­bi­gu­ity over SF ‘no’

Irish Independent - - Letters & Editorial Comment -

AS 4,000 Fianna Fáil vot­ers met in Dublin for the Ard Fheis, the Cabi­net was meet­ing in Cork for the first time in 12 years. The coun­try’s two ma­jor par­ties are mak­ing some­thing of a come­back when it comes to hold­ing the mid­dle ground in Ir­ish pol­i­tics. They are pretty much neck and neck: Fine Gael is at 31pc with the Sol­diers of Destiny com­ing in at 29pc.

Fianna Fáil de­serves credit for step­ping up and do­ing the State some ac­tual ser­vice by re­luc­tantly agree­ing to the con­fi­dence and sup­ply agree­ment. The de­liv­ery of a Bud­get by com­mit­tee was in­evitably go­ing to leave many de­flated.

But it fell to Sinn Féin to be ut­terly in­censed. The in­dig­na­tion would have been more con­vinc­ing were it not for the fact that the party had pre­ferred to be snipers in the wings from the back­benches, spurn­ing the chance to play a role in govern­ment when they had a chance.

Micheál Martin’s role as Fianna Fáil leader over the last six years has been com­mend­able.

He can claim credit for hav­ing put the party’s melt­down of 2011 be­hind him.

But it is up to Fianna Fáil to con­vince that “no” re­ally does mean “no” when it comes to go­ing into govern­ment with Sinn Féin af­ter the next elec­tion.

The po­si­tion has been un­clear. With se­nior fig­ures giv­ing con­tra­dic­tory or at best am­bigu­ous an­swers in re­cent months it be­hoves them to spell out un­equiv­o­cally where it stands defini­tively.

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