Micheál Martin seeks election date 

Micheál Martin seeks election date 
Picture: Patrick Browne

FIANNA Fáil leader and Cork South Central TD Micheál Martin has written to the Taoiseach seeking a date for a general election.

Fianna Fáil confirmed that Mr Martin sent the letter, but will not release it to the media.

However, the Sunday Independent reported that the letter saw Mr Martin calling on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to “give some certainty” on the issue.

The paper reported that Mr Martin stated: “Nothing positive can be achieved if we allow growing escalation of speculation.

“The responsible thing to do at this point is to end the speculation and agree a date for the dissolution of the Dáil, a date for the holding of an election,” he reportedly added.

Speaking to The Echo recently about a possible election early next year, newly-elected Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central, Padraig O’Sullivan, said: “Micheál Martin has already spoken about the fact that this Dáil is coming to its natural conclusion early in the new year.

“I feel that this is the case.”

Addressing the letter on Sunday afternoon, Tánaiste Simon Coveney accused his fellow Cork TD of being “slow off the mark”.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, he cited a letter the Taoiseach sent to Mr Martin 18 months ago requesting they agree a date for an election in May.

Mr Coveney revealed that the Taoiseach and Mr Martin are due to meet at the end of this coming week to discuss the matter.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One over the weekend, the Taoiseach stated that it remains his preference to hold a general election in the summer of next year.

“When this Government was formed I don’t think anyone thought it would last this long,” he explained.

“The reason it has is because of a truce between the two main parties over Brexit.”

The Taoiseach added that Brexit is now “moving on” and indicated that there will be a new Government for the new phase of Brexit.

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