Former Clare TD James Breen has thrown down the gauntlet to Fianna Fail leader, Michael Martin to put the people before power and get a new government in situ.
“It’s time for the talking to stop and to get a deal done. We need political stability and a new government, not a caretaker one running the country. We need to get the country back on its feet and our workforce back to work. We need Michael Martin to put people before power,” he declared.
Mr Breen, who resigned from the Fianna Fail party and was elected an Independent TD in the 29th Dail from 2002 to 2207, said that it seems national interest has gone out the window given the protracted nature of discussions between Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, The Green Party and now the independents.
“At the Clare election count I spoke a lot about national interest. Now, 300 days on from that election it appears national interest has gone out the window. No government has been formed in the worse crisis that has ever hit this country since the The Great Famine of the 1840s,” he added.
Mr Breen was critical of the fact that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are willing to be bed partners again despite distancing themselves from some a politival marriage in the run up to last February’s General Election.
“In fairness to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar he didn’t rule out the possibility of going back into power with Fianna Fail but that was something that was strongly rejected by the Fianna Fail leader, Michael Martin. He ruled out coalescing with Fine Gael or with Sinn Fein. But now he has been forced to row back on that stance if he is to remain in power. Micheal Martin has been forced to change his tune,” he pointed out.
The former Clare TD is also critical of the fact that Michael Martin hasn’t included Sinn Fein in any discussions on the formation of a new government.
“The fact is that no one will condone the atrocities that the IRA committed. But the IRA is no longer, we have a peace agreement.
“Sinn Fein is in government in Northern Ireland and they seem to be doing nothing too wrong there. Why not trust them in government here for a couple of years and see what they’ll do? We have to move forward, we cannot stay living in the past.
“I believe they should have been invited into the discussions, I see no reason why not. In fairness to Sinn Fein they got a massive mandate in the General Election and that cannot and should not be ignored,” he added.
However, he feels it is time to get a deal done and dusted and put a new government in place.
“The pandemic we are in, we will never experienced anything like it again in our lifetime. Look at all the people that are losing their lives as a result of the coronavirus and our TDs are squabbling about running the country. It’s not on
“What it all boils down to is power; power before the people as far as I am concerned. I would appeal to them for once to put the the people before power. I don’t mind who are the parties to form the government as long as we have a stable government to get us through this health crisis. That would suit me. Then we can talk about politics and all the other stuff down the road. But not now. It’s not the time to be playing politics with the health of the people of our state at risk,” he cautioned.
Talks progressed this week when the independents involved. But any Independents that would come on board could hold up the process with demands for their constituencies just like the Healy Reas and Michael Lowry in the past. James Breen doesn’t have a problem with that and sees it as a norm.
“Any TD elected will always want to do best be he can for his constituency. I mean if they can benefit their constituencies by being in government I see nothing wrong with that. That’s what they are there for, to benefit their own county first and then the country. That’s what politics is all about.
“I think it would be a disaster if negotiations fail at this stage. The last thing the people would want is to go to the country again. It would be a disaster. It’s time to get this country back on its feet again and we need a stable government in situ to achieve that,” he maintained.