Anti-Austerity Alliance out of left-wing transfer pact

Ruth Coppinger TD says Right2Change campaign has become ‘prop’ for Sinn Féin

Anti-Austerity Alliance TDs Ruth Coppinger and Paul Murphy have formally turned down Sinn Féin advances to take part in a left wing election transfer pact. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times.

Anti-Austerity Alliance TDs Ruth Coppinger and Paul Murphy have formally turned down Sinn Féin advances to take part in a left wing election transfer pact. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times.

 

Anti-Austerity Alliance TDs Ruth Coppinger and Paul Murphy have formally turned down Sinn Féin advances to take part in a left-wing election transfer pact.

The deadline for aligning with the Right2Change movement, which arose from the anti-water charges protests, passed on Friday night. The group is expected to formally announce who has signed up to its policy proposals on Saturday.

While Ms Coppinger and Mr Murphy have ruled themselves out, the Worker’s Party has said it will take part.

Ms Coppinger told RTÉ News they would not agree to forming a government with Sinn Féin, if the numbers allowed, citing cutbacks in Northern Ireland.

She added that the anti-water charges movement had offered a real possibility of political change but the Right2Change campaign had become a “prop” for Sinn Féin.

Sinn Féin has said it will ask its voters to transfer to other parties and TDs who are affiliated to Right2Change, although many will not return to the favour.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil sources say any changes to the party ticket in Longford-Westmeath are unlikely.

The majority of delegates at a selection convention in Longford objected strongly on Thursday night when a woman was selected as the party’s candidate in the forthcoming general election at the direction of party headquarters.

Connie Gerety Quinn, the manager of the Longford Citizen’s Information Service, was nominated as the candidate despite the opposition of the majority of the 350 or so delegates at the convention in the Longford Arms Hotel. Fianna Fáil has already selected sitting TD Robert Troy as the candidate in the Westmeath end of the constituency.

However, party sources say the ticket is now settled. “These are difficult decisions,” said one. “From the party’s point of view, we want 30 per cent of the candidates to be women. We are committed to meeting the 30 per cent target.”