Micheál Martin rules out deal with Fine Gael
By Daniel McConnell, Political Editor
The Irish people did not vote for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to go into government together, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said.
Mr Martin, surrounded by his expanded Dáil party at Leinster House said the mandate given to him was to change the Government.
“We didn’t get a mandate to go into government with Fine Gael and we certainly didn’t get a mandate to put Fine Gael back into government," he said.
Mr Martin restated his position that Dáil reform must take place before negotiations begin on the formation of a new government.
“Our objective in terms of the present situation is that the people voted for change,” Mr Martin said.
“They rejected this government emphatically. It is very clear from looking at that in the chamber today, where you see the physical manifestation of the transformational result. From our perspective we want to recognise that change and we’ve already been in talks with Independents and with smaller groupings," he said.
“We signalled to those groupings and they agreed we would intensify our negotiations in the aftermath of today’s vote [on the taoiseach]. We'll be putting together a negotiating team to work with those groups in the coming weeks," he added.
Mr Martin said the old-style politics are outdated and need to be seriously reformed.
“The old-style adversarial, government-opposition politics will have to be significantly modified in the new configuration and the new composition in the Dáil. We’re serious about that," he said.
When asked if he will speak to Enda Kenny in relation to a coalition and if he accepts the principle of a rotating taoiseach, Mr Martin said that in asking such questions the media was getting ahead of itself.
“There is a media obsession with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. The people have voted a different kind of Dáil in.The people didn’t vote for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. I think we must acknowledge that," Mr Martin said.