McGuinness told to ‘put shoulder to wheel’ as FF row rumbles on

Niall Collins says ‘no wisdom’ in changing leader after run of poor opinion poll results

Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness has been told to "just put his shoulder to the wheel" after he voiced criticism of the party.

Niall Collins, the party's justice spokesman, called on his colleague to work with fellow deputies to improve Fianna Fáil's position after a series of poor opinion poll results.

“There’s no wisdom in changing leader. There’s no appetite for anybody to change leader. Micheál Martin is doing a very, very good job and he has all of our support,” Mr Collins said.

“John McGuinness needs to just put his shoulder to the wheel. It’s not always about John McGuinness. It’s about Fianna Fáil. It’s about us reflecting people’s concerns out there and working with communities.”

Mr McGuinness, a frequent critic of the party leadership, has insisted he will continue to speak about about his belief Fianna Fáil needs to take a new direction.

Mr Collins was speaking at Leinster House on Thursday at the launch of a Fianna Fáil Bill aimed at cracking down on public disorder in Dublin.

Meanwhile, speaking on Thursday on the Adhmhaidín programme on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Galway Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cuiv said morale was low in the party. He confirmed he had a meeting with Mr Martin on Wednesday night.

Mr Ó Cuív said that he outlined his concerns to Mr Martin and they had an exchange of views about the direction in which the party was going.

However, when asked if he wanted to be the leader of the party, Mr Ó Cuív replied that this was not a leadership issue. “What is breaking my heart is that the party has not made more progress because Fianna Fáil has an important role in Irish politics. Our opinions differ on what is needed by the party in order to make some progress, but that is natural in any party,” he said.