Sinn Féin and Fine Gael like ‘oil and water: they don’t mix’

Heather Humphreys says the two parties will not share power in a future coalition

Sinn Féin and Fine Gael are like "oil and water" and will not mix or share power in a future coalition, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Heather Humphreys, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, was one of a number of senior figures from both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to rule out coalition with Sinn Féin.

They were reacting to an interview with Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald in The Irish Times, in which the Dublin Central TD said she wants to form a coalition government after the next election with either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael.

Ms Humphreys, a Cavan-Monaghan TD, said she wanted to “completely rule out any potential coalition with Sinn Féin”.


"Sinn Féin and Fine Gael are like oil and water: they don't mix," she told RTÉ. "Sinn Féin economic policies are incompatible with ours and, I have to say, if we had taken any of their economic advice during the past seven years, we would be in a worse situation than Greece. "

She also claimed Sinn Féin were "ardent supporters" of Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister.

“And he has disappeared from the political stage,” she said. “Sinn Féin are more suited to protesting than government.”

‘Trying to rebrand’

Fianna Fáil Brexit spokeswoman Lisa Chambers also rejected the idea of a coalition.

“We’ve been very clear and never wavered; we have given no reason for anyone to think we will be entering into any deal with Sinn Féin,” she said.

"We don't believe their policies are in the interests of the country, they are anti-business, they are not supportive of our position in the European Union, clearly the links with the IRA, with the Army Council, that hasn't gone away. That cannot be forgotten, that cannot be swept aside. Until I see evidence to the contrary I don't think they're fit to be in government," the Mayo TD said.

Ms Chambers added: “Sinn Féin are trying to rebrand and change the way the party operates and the way they’re perceived outwardly, but I don’t believe they’ve changed.”