Two Fianna Fáil TDs have called on their party to consider entering coalition with Fine Gael for the good of the country.
Carlow-Kilkenny TDs John McGuinness and Bobby Aylward urged the party leadership not to ignore the decision of the electorate.
“The country has to come first and the electorate has spoken,” Mr McGuinness said. “Politicians should stop thinking about themselves.” Mr Aylward said the only way the figures will add up is an arrangement between the two parties, “whether that is a grand coalition or supporting a minority government. The only stable option is a Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil coalition and it has to be talked about.
“Nobody wants a second election,” he added, “and the party that forces the country to go back to the electorate will suffer the consequences.”
The Fianna Fáil membership is said to be strongly opposed to the notion of a grand coalition between the two parties.
However, more TDs are becoming amenable to the prospect of supporting a Fine Gael minority government, but for a fixed term of two years.
Three Fianna Fáil TDs insisted that the party’s sole focus is getting enough support to form its own minority government.
TD Barry Cowen
, Longford-Westmeath TD Robert Troy and Cork North-Central TD
all agreed the party was aiming to garner as much support to form a minority government.
“Fine Gael do not get it,” Mr Cowen said. “This is not about cabinet seats. It is about a different way of politics. We set out in this election to provide an alternative government, and that position has not changed. That is our sole ambition. If Fine Gael want to support us from the opposition benches, great.”
Mr Troy said Fianna Fáil had no interest in propping up a Fine Gael-led government.
“The focus for Fianna Fáil is to compile a Fianna Fáil minority government,” he said, “and that is our only focus right now.”
Limerick City TD Willie O’Dea also said Fianna Fáil’s position has not changed and that a grand coalition was off the cards.
“A minority government is possible for Fianna Fáil,” he said. “If not, a Fine Gael minority government would require the forbearance of us if they implemented the right policies.”
said nobody who voted for him or Fianna Fáil did so for the party to prop up Fine Gael.
“The debate has all been about moving chess pieces around to get us on side or in their corner,” he said. “It has been entirely based on bits and baubles and not on policy.
“I think it is likely it will be a minority government that will come to pass. I think that’s a good thing. We are too obsessed with this winner-takes- it-all majority.”
Dublin Fingal TD Darragh O'Brien said he would not support a government that had Enda Kenny as taoiseach.
“Fine Gael are not getting the picture here,” he said. “It is not about divvying up jobs. The people voted out this government. There are bigger issues to be dealt with.
“If they think they can just come over here and say, ‘We will give you this and that’, they are missing the whole point of what we are about.”