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Ireland Sinn Féin criticises 'disgraceful' Dáil rivals

23:20  14 february  2020
23:20  14 february  2020 Source:   bbc.com

Well hello Mary Lou, goodbye two-party politics

  Well hello Mary Lou, goodbye two-party politics All changed, changed utterly. The words of the poet WB Yeats in the wake of Ireland's uprising against British rule in 1916. They could equally apply to the general election that has just taken place, producing something of a political revolution.For generations, Ireland has been a two-party state - governed by either Fianna Fail or Fine Gael - but there's a third contender now: Sinn Fein.The party long seen by many as "the political wing of the IRA" has come of age, now fighting its battles at the ballot box.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has criticised Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael's refusal to enter government talks with them as "quite disgraceful ". Fianna Fáil said on Thursday that it would not enter talks with Sinn Féin . All eyes are on the make-up of the next Dáil (Irish parliament) after an

Sinn Féin ’s president, Mary Lou McDonald, centre, at the party’s national executive committee in Dublin on Matt Carthy, a Sinn Féin TD and member of its negotiating team, said the numbers would be Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, centrist rivals that took turns ruling Ireland for a century, lagged Sinn Féin

Micheal Martin, Leo Varadkar, Mary Lou McDonald posing for the camera: The three biggest parties are led by Micheál Martin (Fianna Fáil), Leo Varadkar (Fine Gael) and Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn Féin) © BBC The three biggest parties are led by Micheál Martin (Fianna Fáil), Leo Varadkar (Fine Gael) and Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn Féin)

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has criticised Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael's refusal to enter government talks with them as "quite disgraceful".

Fianna Fáil said on Thursday that it would not enter talks with Sinn Féin.

All eyes are on the make-up of the next Dáil (Irish parliament) after an election that led to an historic surge for Sinn Féin.

Related: For all the election 2020 news, reaction and analysis, click HERE

Sinn Féin topped the first preference poll, but its total of 37 seats is one fewer than that of Fianna Fáil.

Family's dismay as Murphy still won't say their son not a criminal

  Family's dismay as Murphy still won't say their son not a criminal Family's dismay as Murphy still won't say their son not a criminalThey are calling on Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald to intervene with the Stormont minister. Ms Quinn said: "Our hopes that Conor Murphy was finally about to put right the wrong he did our son were raised when Mary Lou McDonald told us last week that Conor was writing to us. "We placed huge trust in her and we thought she would convince Conor to say that Paul was not a criminal.

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald calls for talks with main rivals to form coalition.

Sinn Fein , political party in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland that seeks to end the political partition of the island of Ireland, embodying an ideology that is In 1986 Sinn Féin chose to take the seats it had won in the Dáil , though it continued to abstain from participation in the British Parliament.

a screenshot of a cell phone © BBC

Fine Gael, whose leader Leo Varadkar led the previous government as taoiseach (prime minister), won 35 seats.

No single party has enough seats to govern.

Mrs McDonald said the "old boys club of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael" were setting aside the "democratic mandate of Sinn Féin".

"I have no sense of entitlement for anything," she added.

Gallery: All the Taoisigh since the foundation of Ireland (Photo Services) 

"But I can tell you this much - the people who vote for us, the people we represent - hundreds of thousands of them - are entitled to respect."

Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported that Mrs McDonald and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin had a 15-minute phone conversation on Friday, in which she told him that "people voted for change and not a grand coalition between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael".

She said that she would write to Mr Martin to set out the "substance" of Sinn Féin's position and would ask him to do the same.

Before the election, Mr Martin ruled out forming a coalition with Sinn Féin, citing its historic links to the IRA as a deterrent.

In the wake of Saturday's vote, he did not reject the two parties working together, but said "significant incompatibilities" existed.

Mary Lou McDonald et al. posing for the camera: Mary Lou McDonald's Sinn Féin won the popular vote © BBC Mary Lou McDonald's Sinn Féin won the popular vote

On Thursday, BBC News NI understood that Fianna Fáil members agreed it should not enter government formation talks with Sinn Féin, but Mr Martin received backing to talk to other parties.

How many seats are required in the Dáil to form a government?

Eighty are required - and no single party has that number.

Even if Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin agree to coalesce, they will not hit that magic number and will need to turn to either some of the smaller parties or independents to get them across the line.

That means there could be a lengthy wait to see the make-up of the next Irish government.

Enda Kenny wearing a suit and tie: It took former Taoiseach Enda Kenny 70 days to form a government in 2016 © Getty Images It took former Taoiseach Enda Kenny 70 days to form a government in 2016

That's not entirely unusual - it took 70 days for previous Taoiseach Enda Kenny to form a government in 2016.

In that government, it was agreed that Fianna Fáil would support Fine Gael on key votes in a confidence-and-supply agreement.

Earlier, a Fine Gael spokesperson said the numbers in the current Dáil did not support another confidence-and-supply deal.

The statement said confidence-and-supply arose in the last government as a last resort and was the only option left after Fianna Fáil rejected going into coalition.

It added that the onus was now on Sinn Féin to form a socialist republican government - after securing the largest number of votes.

Sinn Féin apology but no answers for Quinn family .
Sinn Féin apology but no answers for Quinn familySinn Féin finally apologised for false accusations about the 21-year-old victim after inflicting 13 years of pain on his grieving family.

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