Martin 'interested' in FF role


Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has stated an interest in running for the leadership of Fianna Fáil once the vacancy arises.

“There are may people within the party who if the situation arose would be interested in the leadership and I would be one of those,” Mr Martin told RTÉ's Saturday View programme.

Minister Martin said the Fianna Fáil leadership was a collective issue for the entire party.

“What I’ve been saying consistently is that I’m supporting the Taoiseach in implementing the policies that are before us and that is the position. Anything else isn’t relevant in terms of what the country needs", he said.

Mr Martin made his comments a day after number of Fianna Fáil backbenchers called on Brian Cowen to step down as leader of the parliamentary party.

The calls were in response to the publication of a new poll showing a drop in support of 3 per cent for the party to just 13 per cent while support for the Taoiseach was at an all-time low of 8 per cent.

Former minister Mary O'Rourke said she thought Mr Cowen must be reconsidering his position and questioned if it was in his best interests to continue as leader of Fianna Fáil.

Other Fianna Fáil backbenchers including former Fianna Fáil whip and minister of state Tom Kitt,

Cork TD Noel O'Flynn, Dublin north TD Micheal Kennedy and Tipperary South TD Mattie McGrath called on Mr Cowen to resign as party leader before the election, which is due to be held early next year.