Taoiseach Micheál Martin is set to hold a special in-person meeting of Fianna Fáil to discuss the party’s recent result in the Dublin Bay South byelection.
The Fianna Fáil leader told a parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday evening that the greatest threat to its future was constant “leaking and sniping” by its own TDs, according to The Irish Times.
“The greatest threat to Fianna Fáil is ourselves,” he said, adding that “briefings, leaking and sniping” from TDs and Senators were counterproductive.
He is said by colleagues to have spoken “passionately” on his role in the election and in the Coalition, adding that the party has a responsibility to the people.
He said his focus as Taoiseach was on leading Ireland out of the pandemic, rebuilding the economy and supporting young people.
Offaly TD Barry Cowen, who called for a special meeting to discuss the result of the Dublin Bay South byelection, welcomed the Taoiseach’s proposal for a physical parliamentary party meeting on September 1st.
Mr Cowen indicated the handling of student nurses and the Finance Bill as factors in the poor result in the byelection.
He also dismissed any suggestion that “sour grapes” over his dismissal as Minister for Agriculture motivated him circulating a letter to all TDs and Senators expressing concern about the party’s byelection performance.
Minister of State Anne Rabbitte also welcomed the September meeting and said a conversation about the 2020 general election was “long overdue”.
A number of Ministers and TDs spoke strongly in support of Mr Martin's leadership at the meeting.
Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said he remembered when the party had only one seat in Dublin. “We now have seven seats in Dublin and this is down to the work of the party leader,” he said.