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Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin Photo by: Photocall Ireland

Micheal Martin eyes return to government with Fianna Fail at next election

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Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin Photo by: Photocall Ireland

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has re-iterated to rebuilding the party and leading it back into government.

The Cork deputy has even discussed the prospect of Fianna Fail taking power in the next election.

Martin made the comments in an interview with the Irish Independent newspaper.

He told the paper that he will stay in charge of Fianna Fail for a decade and oversee the revitalisation of the party after its decimation at the last election.

With support for Fianna Fail now back to over 20 per cent in the opinion polls, Martin did discuss a possible return to power in the interview.

With Fianna Fail now the second most popular party in Ireland again, that view is in contrast to the belief that some members hold that FF needs two terms out of office to rebuild.

Martin told the Irish Independent that the task of rebuilding Fianna Fail was a 10-year project and that he intended to see the job through.

He said: “I made this commitment at the outset when I took over the leadership of the party.” the Cork South-Central TD said.

Martin also said that rebuilding the party would not be hindered by his leading it back into government.

He firmly ruled out appointing a deputy leader to replace Eamon O Cuiv.

Martin said: “I may lead Fianna Fail into power after the next election” but that he won’t be making any reckless promises like Labour did before the last election.

“I’m not going to do that for the next election. Likewise, I won’t be making reckless comments and commitments either but the point is that after the election, if political parties are engaging or discussing, we would be issue-based and policy-based – we will then decide the best route for us to implement our policies.”

Asked if he saw himself leading the party back into power, Martin said: “I may, I may not; it’s not my driving ambition at this particular point in time.

“I want to create a political party that’s different, that approaches politics in a different way, in a serious way, in terms of the issues, how we raise them, endeavouring to be constructive.”

The paper reports that Martin also rejected the suggestion that going back into office would get in the way of rebuilding the party.

He added: “Not necessarily, that’s all hypothetical. Firstly, we’ve decided we’d have a conference before we ever decided to go into government with other parties.

“Secondly, it has to be issues-based and policy-based. There have to be red lines for Fianna Fail.

“There was a tendency in the past, when other parties were coalescing with Fianna Fail, they had red-line issues and it’s as if Fianna Fail was absorbing all of that.

“Fianna Fail will have its core issues going into the campaign, coming out of the campaign and it’s not a question of just making up numbers and getting into power or anything like that.”

Martin told the paper that this did not mean the party was preparing to be the junior coalition partner in any government.

He said: “Not necessarily - sure we don’t know. There’s a lot of volatility out there. The volatility isn’t over. Politics is at a very low ebb now in terms of public perception.

“People are angry with the political system. They’re very annoyed that no change has happened to the political system. They actually believed all parties had signed on for radical change.”

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