Labour and Fianna Fáil won't rule out deal, but Taoiseach insists all is well in coalition

There is "no difficulty or split" between Labour and Fine Gael over potential Fianna Fail deal, Kenny says

Michael Martin, Fianna Fail, Labour, coalition, GE16,

Leader of Fianna Fail Micheal Martin at the first general election 2016 TV and radio debate in TV3 | Image:

Enda Kenny has insisted there is “no difficulty or split” between the two government parties over a potential partnership with Fianna Fáil.

Yesterday Enda Kenny was forced to rule out Fine Gael doing a deal with Micheál Martin after appearing to leave the door open on Sunday (although some commentators are pointing out that he did not say he wouldn't deal with Fianna Fáil).

Today the Taoiseach says Fine Gael and Labour are committed to each other – despite Labour leader Joan Burton declining to rule out a potential deal with Fianna Fáil, with Micheál Martin also side-stepping the chance to rule out a deal with Labour.

“What we would like the people to do is re-elect the government of Fine Gael and Labour – finish the job that they gave us,” Mr Kenny said.

“There is no difficulty or no split between the two government parties,” he added.

Tánaiste Joan Burton today refused to rule out doing a deal with Fianna Fáil, although she again reiterated that the Labour party is focused on returning the current Government.

“We have given, clearly, our choice, which is to see the current government returned and I’m focused exclusively on that,” Ms Burton said, although she did not explicitly rule out a deal with Fianna Fáil.

Speaking in Ennis this morning, Mr Martin said Labour have been humiliated by Fine Gael over the past five years – but didn’t say his party won’t work with them.

“We’re not going in to government with Fine Gael, we’re not going into government with Sinn Féin. That’s as far as we have gone and it speaks for itself,” Mr Martin said.

While not ruling out any potential deal, he added Labour have pegged themselves to Fine Gael and are paying a high price.

“Labour has wedded itself yet again to the Fine Gael ship – they’ll pay a heavy price for that.”

For more on the general election, click here