Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.38 9 Feb 2020


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Health Minister Simon Harris says there is an "onus" on Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to talk.

It comes after an exit poll but Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin all on 22% support.

Fianna Fáil has re-iterate its opposition to governing with Sinn Féin, while Sinn Féin has said they will talk to everyone who wants to disucss the big issues.

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin said earlier: "Once we start contacting the parties we'd be looking to discuss with all of them around restoring the pension age to 65, building 100,000 public houses, proper investing in universal healthcare... and obviously progressing towards a referendum on Irish unity.

"Anybody who wants to talk about that kind of progressive, positive change we're in the business of wanting to talk about them and form a government".

Minister Harris told Ivan Yates the national interest should take priority.

"I think it's very much all to play for - every single published opinion poll since New Year's Day has had Fine Gael behind - and now we have an exit poll that seems to show it neck and neck.

"It'd going to come down I think to transfers and individual battles in every constituency".

He said that keeping a second seat will be "a challenge for us, but everyone has a challenge going into this election".

On going into government, he said: "We'd like to form a government with Fine Gael leading with a smaller party - but if that's not possible, I believe in the national interest Fine Gael and Fianna Fail should work together".

"In the national interest, if the numbers don't stack up any other way, there's an onus on Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to sit down and be mature about this.

"Not just say 'we're not going into government with the other crowd'... this can't be about the party interest".

While he says that is not his preference, "if that's the way the cookie crumbles - and there's a hell of a long way to go - I think that is definitely something that should be on the table".


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Election Eoin O Broin Fianna Fáil Fine Gael GE2020 Ivan Yates National Interest Simon Harris

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