POLITICS: Is Fianna Fail leader putting PERSONAL AMBITION ahead of what members want?

10 June 2020
By Elaine Murphy

Introduction to article: The Leader of Fianna Fail happens to be a Cork TD. Mícheal Martin is a veteran politician who has overseen Fianna Fails return from the doldrums, but in politics, things keep changing. Today a relatively new political party called ‘Aontú’ has accused Deputy Martin “of putting his own personal ambition ahead of the objectives of rank and file Fianna Fáil members”

Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has accused Mícheal of putting his own personal ambition ahead of the objectives of rank and file Fianna Fáil members.

Tóibín stated “Mícheal Martin is disposing with Fianna Fáil objectives and burning through red lines at a speed of nots. Opposition to coalition with FG, raising the pension age, protecting small farmers and regional and rural Ireland.”

Tóibín continued “FF campaigned strongly in this year’s General Election on protecting against raising the pension age – a redline for the party. These are people who have worked the majority of their life, paid their taxes, contributed to their communities and done what their country has asked of them – so quite rightly FF alongside Aontú pledged to ensure they would not have to work a day more than they had to. This is why it is shocking to learn that the raising of the pension age is looking likely to be included in programme for government to ‘pay for the Covid-19 pandemic.’”

Peadar Tóibín has served as Leader of Aontú since January 2019, when he founded the new party. He has been a TD for the Meath West constituency since 2011, previously for Sinn Fein.

Tóibín continued “Michael Martin is feeling the pressure of being the only FF Leader in history not to be Taoiseach, with the Soldiers of Destiny now being subservient to that one pursuit – ensuring that Martin becomes Taoiseach. Martin bucked the express will of the party’s base and elected representatives on the Human Right to Life. He has stated over and over again that now is not the time to talk about Irish Unity. He refused to help small farmers and support the passage of the Ban on the Below Cost Sale of Beef Bill. Under his leadership Fianna have become a hallow ideological husk, standing for nothing.

Tóibín concluded “There is a fundamental disconnect in Fianna Fáil between what the base wants and what the base gets, what the grassroots vote for and what the leadership approves. Michael Martin has pioneered a tradition of the FF leadership giving the two fingers to the FF rank and file members of their party which have unwaveringly voted FF for years. This isn’t the first time the FF leadership went after pensioners either, harking back to the targeting of medical cards as the ‘Good Times’ turned dark. Staying loyal to a party that is disloyal to its grass roots is no longer an option for many within the grassroots”.

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