October 18, 2021

‘The people will not thank FF and FG if they force another election’ – Waterford TD

Waterford poll-topping TD David Cullinane has warned Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael that any attempts to sabatoge talks to form a new government that includes Sinn Féin will backfire badly if another General Election is called.

Deputy Cullinane spoke out after Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin yesterday ruled out entering into talks with Sinn Féin. Martin also appeared to row back on pre-election promises not to deal with Fine Gael, and a so-called ‘Grand Coalition’ with the support of some smaller parties is now the only alternative to a government that doesn’t involve Sinn Féin.

In the event of another election it is highly likely Sinn Féin would gain even more seats if they fielded more candidates. However Deputy Cullinane insists the party’s entire focus is on implementing the results of last week’s bombshell election and forming a new government to implement its policies.

Deputy Cullinane told WaterfordNow.ie today: “That [planning for a second election], in my view, is not something the people will thank them for. I was elected with a huge mandate for Waterford and I’m clearly focused on talks to implement the will of the people and to form a new government.”

The Waterford TD described opening talks with smaller partiers so far as “constructive”, but just “exploratory” for now, adding: “So far its been a case of making contact with some of the smaller parties to make it clear we want to be part of the next government. That’s our priority. There hasn’t been any detailed discussions on the programme for government yet, that will come later.”

Deputy Cullinane also criticised Fianna Fáil for ruling Sinn Féin out of talks to form a new government and said a ‘Grand Coalition’ with Fine Gael would not have the backing of the country. And he called for an end to what he described as “shadow boxing” as the scramble to form a new government threatens to go on for weeks, and possibly months, adding: “People will get very tired of all this if it goes on for too long.”

Deputy Cullinane also said a report in a national newspaper earlier this week that claimed he had been removed from Sinn Féin’s negotiating team in the wake of the furore over his “Up the Ra” comments at an event in Waterford to celebrate his re-election was untrue.

“The journalist never contacted me. I was always a member of the [Sinn Féin negotiating] team, if they had spoken to me I would told them or the Sinn Féin press office would have told them,” he clarified.

Shane Doran

Shane Doran is founder and Co-Managing Editor of News Now Media, incorporating KilkennyNow.ie, WaterfordNow.ie and WicklowNow.ie. He is a former newspaper editor who has held senior executive roles across five national newspaper titles, both broadsheet and tabloid. He was News Editor and Executive Editor of the Irish Independent for more than seven years and spent a number of years in South Africa where he worked as editor of The Daily Voice newspaper. Shane has held senior editorial position with The Sunday Independent, The Herald and The Irish Daily Star and has served as Executive Editor (Group) of Independent News & Media (INM), Ireland’s largest newspaper group.

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