Galway West TD Eamon Ó Cuív is urging his fellow members of Fianna Fáil not to support the Programme for Government for a three party coalition.
In a letter Deputy Ó Cuív sent to Fianna Fáil members, he warned that this coalition poses an existential threat to the party, and would further erode their public support.
He said that if Fianna Fáil go into this three party coalition it will “signal the end” of their identity in Irish politics.
The party’s recent polling figures of 14% support highlight the “perilous” situation the party is in he said, adding that
One of the few specific issues which he touched on in this letter was addressing climate change.
He said that while Ireland must “urgently” address the problems of climate change, and fulfil its international obligations in this arena, there must be a clear “inclusive and equitable” plan to do this.
The current Programme for Government fails to set out a roadmap that will avoid putting an “unfair burden” on rural areas he said.
The rural TD also warned against an attitude of “economic growth for its own sake” without an inclusive policy to develop towns and cities, but also “traditional rural communities”.
“It is my regret that, if we enter this coalition, we will hasten the demise of our party and once again create a political system with two large parties, but that Fianna Fáil will not be one of them“. (emphasis his).
“I strongly believe that we should reject the PFG because of the role that I believe Fianna Fail can play in the future as a major political force in creating a just and equitable society based on ideals of a peaceful and constitutional government”.
Ó Cuív claims that there were other options to this coalition, but that people are being presented with an “artificially diluted” choice between this coalition, another election, or a “constitutional crisis”.
This echoes claims he has previously made that the talks have been deliberately drawn out to present people with a take it or leave choice regarding any agreed on PFG.
The last two elections have shown that people do not want Fine Gael returned to government he added, but this deal asks FF members to do precisely that.
“As a result, and respecting everyone’s right and obligation to make up their own mind on this matter, I urge you to vote “No” to this Programme for Government.”
The agreed upon Programme for Government would see Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin first up in the Taoiseach’s seat, with Leo Varadkar to take back the role in December 2022.
Green Party Deputy Leader Catherine Martin had suggested on RTÉ Today with Sarah McInerney show that their could be scope to renegotiate the Programme when the office of Taoiseach changes hands.
However that was firmly ruled out by Leo Varadkar on Friday night, who stated that there was no provision to revisit the programme in the agreed on deal.
The full letter from Eamon Ó Cuív to Fianna Fáil members reads as follows: