Former Fianna Fáil leader says coalition with Sinn Féin could be a talking point after election

former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, speaking to Dr. Katy Hayward, Reader in Sociology at Queen’s University Belfast, about the future of the Good Friday Agreement, at the 3rd annual Killarney Economic Conference at the Brehon Hotel, Killarney on Friday. Brexit was once again on the agenda, with key discussions based on its impact on Northern Ireland and Ireland’s economic and diplomatic relationship with Germany in a post Brexit world. Photo : Valerie O’Sullivan / FREE PIC / Issued 24/01/2020

A former Fianna Fáil Taoiseach has said a coalition between the party and Sinn Féin would have an impact on any future alliance with the SDLP in Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the third annual Killarney Economic Conference at the Brehon hotel in Killarney, Bertie Ahern said he was always in favour of an all-island alliance between Fianna Fáil and the SDLP.

He said it was a relationship he tried to build 20 years ago and – in recent years – party members have canvassed with SDLP candidates prior to elections.

Mr Ahern says a coalition with Sinn Féin after the election could impact on future relationships with the northern party.

Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has repeatedly ruled out going into coalition with Sinn Féin; however, Bertie Ahern says election results can quickly change people’s minds.