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Deputy Cathal Crowe

Clare TD won’t join heave against Martin

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DEPUTY Cathal Crowe has confirmed he will not support any motion of no confidence, if one is tabled against an Taoiseach Micheál Martin in the near future.
Media reports have claimed that rebel Fianna Fáil deputies are plotting behind the scenes to oust Deputy Martin as leader after a series of poor opinion polls.
There is growing unease within the party after its worst ever 4.6% share of the first preference vote in the Dublin Bay South constituency recently.
Speaking to the Clare Champion, Deputy Crowe said the Taoiseach is doing a good job leading the government, which has prevented the economy from imploding and also saved lives in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He believes the Fianna Fáil party needs to “settle” itself now and avoid any leadership contest at the moment, which would be very destabilising for the party and the country.
However, once Deputy Martin’s term as Taoiseach ends, he feels this would be an ideal time to have a proper debate within the party to decide if a new leader is needed.
“There have been aspects of being in government and shortcomings I haven’t liked. I use the internal mechanisms of Fianna Fáil to air my grievances.”
He criticised the leaking of debates from Fianna Fáil parliamentary meetings, describing this as “unsavoury” as a new Dáil deputy.
He said most people find the internal squabbles of a party self-serving and felt it would be far better to focus on creating an identity for the party with voters.
“We need to stand up for underdogs. We are helping communities that need help and the most vulnerable in society such as the elderly and those on housing waiting lists. We need to be radical and decide what does Fianna Fáil really stand for.”
Senator Timmy Dooley said Fianna Fáil in government is not popular and lost support with voters before and during the last General Election as well as during the long drawn out negotiations to form a new Programme for Government and subsequently a government.
He believes that the party’s national support is in the region of 20%, and is not as low as 4.6%. However, he stressed that changing the party leader now would be counter productive. Instead, he believes the Fianna Fáil party needs to been seen to deliver in government in particular in the area of housing.
While he feels their policies will increase the supply of social houses in the medium and long term, he acknowledged the public aren’t convinced they are working at this moment.
In view of the huge expenditure on health services, he stressed that issues around waiting lists and patients waiting on trolleys in ED needs to be sorted quickly.
He said people in Fianna Fáil need to go out and sell the messages that their health and housing policies are the right ones for the country.

by Dan Danaher

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