Fine Gael's 'megaphone diplomacy' does not work with Fianna Fáil, Martin says

Fine Gael's 'megaphone diplomacy' does not work with Fianna Fáil, Martin says

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says that Fine Gael needs to learn that megaphone diplomacy “does not work with Micheál Martin and with Fianna Fáil.”

Making disparaging comments in public is not going to set the pace, he told RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show when asked about Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s comments at the weekend.

Mr Varadkar had criticised Fianna Fáil for its approach to the confidence and supply review, accusing the main Opposition party of dragging the talks out.

“It was a silly comment,” said Mr Martin. “Nothing more, nothing less. There was not a lot of substance. It is straying away from the substantive issue.”


The Fianna Fáil leader said that he had written to the Taoiseach a month ago (and has not yet had a response), urging Mr Varadkar to agree not to bring down the government until a Brexit deal has been agreed.

“It was a genuine and generous offer.”

However, he felt that Fine Gael views such offers through their own “self-absorbed” prism. “We’re giving the government stability to negotiate Brexit and support for three Budgets. Contrast that with the mayhem across the water.

Mr Martin said there is no danger to the government. The only people who are talking about a threat are the Taoiseach and some of his Ministers. “It’s juvenile.”


He said that “the word is out” that both Simon Harris and Eoghan Murphy want to leave their respective portfolios because they are not happy with progress.

Mr Martin acknowledged that some members of his party are impatient about the discussions with Fine Gael and want more emphasis on issues such as housing and health. “That’s a healthy thing.”

The Taoiseach was more concerned about tax cuts than issues such a health, housing or climate change. He had not made them a priority in his speech at the ard fheis, added Mr Martin.

Prior to the last general election Enda Kenny had made promises about a €4billion tax package (USC), “but as soon as the election was over, it was abandoned. There should be a health warning about any Fine Gael promises.


“Fine Gael are interested in only one thing and that’s reducing tax. There is no magic pot that they can magic €3bn out of.”

Mr Martin accused the Taoiseach of attacking everyone’s policies. “You have to have a healthy scepticism about Fine Gael policies.

“We’re interested in getting things done. The manner in which Fine Gael is approaching these talks (confidence and supply agreement renegotiation) leaves a lot to be desired. This megaphone diplomacy.”