03/06/2009

Kenny Slams Sinn Féin Coalition Claims

Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny has rejected claims he asked if Sinn Féin would be prepared to support him as Taoiseach after the 2007 General Election.

Trevor Sargent, then boss of the Green Party, claimed in a newspaper interview today he had been approached by Mr Kenny who asked if Sinn Féin would support a Fine Gael Government.

Speaking on RTÉ News at One, Mr Sargent repeated his claim, saying that at the time, he told Mr Kenny that it was a matter for the Fine Gael leader to talk to Sinn Féin.

Mr Sargent told a news conference this afternoon that he could not see what was in it for Sinn Féin, as Fine Gael was not offering a deal on policy or positions in government.

He said he mentioned it 'casually' to the Sinn Féin Leader in the Dáil, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.

Mr Kenny said today that he did not seek Sinn Féin support indirectly. He pointed out that if he had been prepared to do business with Sinn Féin in 2007, he would have been Taoiseach for the last two years.

Meanwhile, struggling Fianna Fail have asked their main opposition, Fine Gael, to "come clean" about the former Green party leader's claims.

“Enda Kenny must come clean on Fine Gael's position in relation to coalition with Sinn Féin following the interview with him rebroadcast this evening on TG4," said the Fianna Fail Minister, Micheál Martin.

Mr Martin added that when asked whether Fine Gael would be willing to accept Sinn Féin in a coalition during the interview, Mr Kenny said: "Sinn Féin have changed, I am not ruling anyone out, at all."

The Government's Finance Minister added that on Sunday last, Enda Kenny had insisted that Fine Gael will not "do business" with Sinn Féin. "Only one of these statements can be true," Mr Martin said.

(DW/BMcC)

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