Parties play the blame game over Cork's lost Mayor vote

Parties play the blame game over Cork's lost Mayor vote

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says he didn’t want ‘to be a party to a shambolic operation’. Picture: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

FIANNA Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said that he would not allow himself to be associated with the "shambolic" proposal for a directly elected Lord Mayor of Cork.

The proposal was rejected by the people of Cork by 33,347 votes to 33,364.

Mr Martin defended his decision to keep Fianna Fáil out of the campaign to call for a Yes vote.

He said that he backs the idea in principle of a directly elected Lord Mayor, but said that Fine Gael botched the campaign.

Senator Jerry Buttimer says Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin ‘should be ashamed’.	Picture: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Senator Jerry Buttimer says Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin ‘should be ashamed’. Picture: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

He said that he urged the government to pull back on the plebiscite, and decided to sit it out when they pressed ahead.

"I am not going to be a party to a shambolic operation like this. I said it to the government. They can't expect people to be coming in behind a proposal that is poorly thought out.

"I've been a director of elections, I've been a government Minister that's brought in referendums like Lisbon - you don't insult the people, you take the people seriously and you take the issue seriously," he said.

Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer, who managed his party's plebiscite campaign in Cork, called Mr Martin's remarks "embarrassing and dissapointing."

"If he believes in the idea, why didn't he come out and campaign.

"He should be ashamed of his own position regarding the plebiscite. He shouldn't be using a plebiscite to score political points against the government when this was about a bigger and wider vision for Cork and it's people.

"His response now illustrates the shortsightedness of his policy and his philosophy," he said.

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