FG TD says talk of FF merger is ‘premature’
Broadcaster Bill O’Herlihy called on parties to set aside differences in Béal na Bláth oration
David Stanton, Fine Gael TD for in Cork North East
A Fine Gael TD has said speculation about the possibility of a coalition between his party and Fianna Fail is premature.
David Stanton, TD for in Cork North East, was reacting to broadcaster Bill O’Herlihy’s Béal na Bláth oration in which he called on Fine Gael and Fianna Fail to set aside their old Civil War differences and enter Government together.
Speaking at the Michael Collins commemoration yesterday, Mr O’Herlihy said both parties have shared enormous political ground throughout their history.
“Does it make any sense to have the major political parties tussling for power, where, for so long, the width of a sheet of tissue paper scarcely separated their policies?” he asked. “How much more progress, how much more reform would be possible if senseless old historical divisions were eliminated from our politics?”
Mr Stanton told Cork’s 96FM today that it is a debate worth having.
“At the end of the day the people will decide that in an election. I think it’s a bit premature at the moment but it is a very challenging and interesting debate at the same time. Mostly in Ireland the people have gone for centre parties. The voters have kept away from any extremes either right or left. That is what people want. They want stability.”
Meanwhile, Cork South Central Fianna Fail TD, Michael McGrath, has claimed that a coalition between his party and Fine Gael is likely to occur at some point in the future.
“A lot of it depends on what the people say at the next election - where their votes go. And a lot of the parties then will have to find what a suitable Government is. But it is a long way away,” he said. “ I certainly would’t rule it out completely. I think it is going to happen at some point in the future and really most people in Ireland have moved way beyond Civil War politics.”
Senior figures in Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have dismissed any suggestions of a coming together of the two sides.