SPEAKING this morning on Adhmhaidin on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan said that grassroot Fianna Fáil members would not accept the party going into government with Fine Gael, but said in her opinion that a coalition with Sinn Féin would be more feasible, if it were on the table.
In the interview today with Aodh Máirtín Ó Fearraigh, Mary Coughlan criticised smaller parties and independents who, she said, had no interest in being part of government, and that there may be no other option than another election.
“There are smaller parties and independents, and they have no interest in being in government, and it’s a great shame because they put themselves forward for election to put policies in place, and they can’t do that outside of government.”
“There is a great difference between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, people think there isn’t but there is. I don’t believe that Fianna Fáil members would support a coalition with Fine Gael. Mícheál Martin would not get support for that at an Ardfheis.”
“We might be able to support Fine Gael in a minority government situation, if the policies were right, but the only choice may be another election.”
Asked about the feasibility of a Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin coalition, and whether there were more similarities between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin policies, than those of Fine Gael, she said that there were, but big differences at the same time, particularly on economics and finance issues. She said the biggest problem was that there were people who had no interest in being in government.
Asked if she would give her blessing to a Fianna Fáil Sinn Féin coalition, she said:
“Well I’m not saying that because it’s not on the table, because Sinn Féin won’t go into coalition. Everyone thinks that the easiest thing is to put Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael together in government, but I don’t think that’s accurate. I think that a Fianna Fáil Fine Gael coalition would do the most damage.”
Mary Coughlan was interviewed by Aodh Máirtín Ó Fearraigh on Adhmhaidin on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta this morning.