Majority of Kerry Fianna Fáil councillors express confidence in Micheál Martin

The majority of Kerry Fianna Fáil councillors have expressed confidence in their party leader.

However, support for a coalition with Fine Gael and the Green Party is more tepid.

Councillors called for the membership of Fianna Fáil to be given the opportunity to vote on any proposal.

Kerry has ten Fianna Fáil councillors across all six municipal districts.

When asked by Radio Kerry, the majority of councillors expressed confidence in party leader Micheál Martin with Cllr Norma Moriarty saying he has statesman-like qualities.

Cllr Michael Cahill said now is not the time for a leadership contest adding that the party is at a crossroads.

However, Cllr John Francis Flynn doesn’t have confidence in Micheál Martin and says the party is being run as a dictatorship with a complete lack of consultation with members about government formation.

Deputy Martin has said all councillors will be able to vote on a programme for government but the logistics of this are being considered due to COVID-19.

Many councillors pointed to the pandemic as a reason they have changed their stance on a coalition with Fine Gael and the Green Party but support for this option was tepid overall.

Cllr Jimmy Moloney, Fionnán Fitzgerald, John Francis Flynn and Michael O’Shea ruled the possible government formation out; some pointed to Green Party policies as a major issue.

There was more support for a national government with Cllr Michael O’Shea stating the only way out of a national crisis is to form a national government and when the pandemic is over an election can be called.

Other councillors expressed concern about how such an administration would work.

The full results of the Kerry Today survey of Kerry’s ten Fianna Fáil councillors:

We asked:

  • Do you support Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green coalition?
  • Would you prefer a national Government?
  • Are you satisfied with Micheál Martin as party leader?

 

Killarney Municipal District

Niall Kelleher

  • Do you support FF/FG/Green coalition?
    Until a programme for government has been agreed and published, I couldn’t blindly give support for anything until I see that programme for government.
  • Would you support/ prefer a national government?
    I don’t know what a programme for government for such an administration would be. I wouldn’t have been against a national government but that moment, I believe, has passed. It is important to have a government to pass legislation. Look at the struggling businesses. But I would say to all parties and to all 160 TDs that it is incumbent on them all to form a government, it’s not just incumbent on one or two or three parties.
  • Do you support Micheal Martin/ have confidence in him as leader?
    As it stands, there is no reason to question his leadership. Certainly, he has made decisions that I would not always have 100% agreed with and I believe errors have been made.

Tralee Municipal District

Johnnie Wall

  • Do you support Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green coalition?
    I would be happy to go into Government with anyone.
  • Would you prefer a national Government?
    I don’t know if it would work.
  • Are you satisfied with Micheál Martin as party leader?
    I think he has done a good job over the past few years and wouldn’t like to see anything happen to him at the moment.

 

Mikey Sheehy

  • Do you support Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green coalition?
    If you asked my this two-and-a-half months ago it would be a different answer; I would have been vehemently opposed but in the current situation the country finds itself in a Government needs to be formed. Fianna Fáil will have to take a prudent approach as a party. Emergency legislation and supports for business will need to be adopted. A Government needs to be formed in the next month to six weeks. He would prefer if the party was in a stronger position.
  • Would you prefer a national Government?
    If all other avenues are explored and a Government can’t be formed and policies can’t be agreed then a national government would be an option.
  • Are you satisfied with Micheál Martin as party leader?
    He finds himself in a difficult position. It was a mediocre general election for Fianna Fáil. A Government needs to be formed but I am sceptical if it will last for five years. Micheál Martin is the party leader and hopefully he will lead us into that Government. However, he needs to listen to the Fianna Fáil membership and the grass roots need to be given a say on Government formation.

Listowel Municipal District

Jimmy Moloney

  • Do you support Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green coalition?
  • Would you prefer a national government?
    A national government that should endure for one or two budgets. All members of Fianna Fáil should be allowed to vote on the proposed FF/FG/Greens coalition and the programme for government. It’s in the party’s rule books.
  • Do you support/ have confidence in Micheal Martin?
    No issue there.

Kenmare Municipal District

Michael Cahill

  • Do you support Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green coalition?
    Didn’t give a clear yes/no answer. Government has to be formed particularly in a time of crisis, it’s essential. It’s a time to take up the mantle, lead by example.
  • Michael Cahill’s preference would be a national government.
  • Do you support Micheal Martin as leader?
    Now is not the time for a leadership heave. It doesn’t arise at present. Fianna Fail is at a crossroads, choices are limited, groups within party opposing various options e.g. opposition to coalition with FG, opposition to coalition with the Greens, opposition to coalition with Sinn Fein. You’re not going to get 100 per cent agreement within the party. He cited, in particular, opposition within the party to going into coalition with Fine Gael.

Norma Moriarty

  • Do you support Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green coalition?
    Responsible thing to do is to form a government. Agreed with a lot of points made in the framework document. Obviously, would prefer a FF dominated government but that was not the outcome of the election.

 

  • Would you prefer a national government?
    The crisis has been fairly well managed. Forming a national government would be a cases of kicking the can down the road. We need an effective opposition to the new government as it introduces new and necessary legislation.

 

  • Do you support/ have confidence in Micheal Martin as leader?
    Yes, I have confidence. Less than a year ago, questions were asked of Mary Lou McDonald after the local and European elections. Micheal Martin has statesman-like qualities.

 

John Francis Flynn

  • Do you support Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green coalition?
    Alleges Green Party policies are totally anti-rural Ireland.
  • Would you prefer a national government?

Yes, a national government should be formed, all parties should come together for the sake of the country.

 

  • Do you support/ have confidence in Micheal Martin?

No. Fianna Fail has been run as a dictatorship. There’s been a complete lack of consultation with ordinary members about government formation.

Castleisland Municipal District


Fionnán Fitzgerald

  • Do you support Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green coalition?

No as it stands, in particular, the policies of the Green Party which do not support the development of rural Ireland and in particular, the agricultural sector.

  • Would you prefer a national government? I am neutral personally on a national government. Didn’t hear it on the doorsteps when canvassing before the election. But I definitely heard no desire for a FF/FG/Green coalition.
  • Do you support/ have confidence in Micheal Martin?
    I am confident in his leadership.

Corca Dhuibhne Municipal District

Michael O’Shea

  • Do you support Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green coalition?

I have no problem with Fine Gael but I have a big issue with the Green Party. Their proposal for a 7% annual reduction in carbon emissions will cost the country €40 billion. It will decimate rural Ireland and the activities that go on there. As a rural councillor, I couldn’t support that.

  • Would you prefer a national Government?
    Yes, it is the only way out of this. A national crisis warrants a national Government. We have never experienced anything like this. When the crisis is over and everything calms down we can call and election then but for now all heads need to come together.
  • Are you satisfied with Micheál Martin as party leader?
    I am very loyal to the leader of the party, whoever he or she may be. But I am surprised at the moment for the party to be backed into a cul-de-sac. We should be talking to all parties.

Breandán Fitzgerald

  • Do you support Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green coalition?
    Before COVID-19 I called for Sinn Fein to lead the Government formation talks. But the pandemic changes everything and a Government needs to be formed. I will reserve any judgement until a postal vote of Fianna Fail members is taken. Like all political parties, we have rules and members must be consulted.
  • Would you prefer a national Government?
    With COVID-19 all bets are off, whatever parties said previously is irrelevant. Everyone should be included and nobody should be ruled out. We need a legitimate Government – the people are crying out for it. This is a national emergency but again the membership of the party should be consulted.
  • Are you satisfied with Micheál Martin as party leader?
    Micheál Martin is Uactaráin of Fianna Fáil and my complete loyalty is with the Uactaráin of Fianna Fáil.