Prospect of Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael link-up not completely ruled out
Fianna Fáil sources said it will not be ready to enter government for at least another term
Among those who have said that a longer-term arrangement between the parties is possible is Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath (above), although he has ruled it out for the next election. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill
Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have said the likelihood of a coalition between the parties after the next election is extremely remote although a number have not ruled out some kind of co-operation in the longer term.
Among those who have said that a longer-term arrangement between the parties is possible is Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath, although he has ruled it out for the next election.
“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.
“I certainly wouldn’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,” he said.
Other Fianna Fáil sources yesterday emphasised that it will not be ready to enter government for at least another term after its humiliating defeat in the general election in 2011. A senior party source said its structures will not be strong enough and that the electorate will not have sufficiently forgiven the party for the mistakes it made during 14 uninterrupted years in power.
Similarly, Fine Gael sources said its priority in the short term is to continue its work in Government and seek a second mandate for the current Government. The prospect of a link-up between the two largest parties in the State has been raised twice in the past month.