THE Finance Minister has expressed his full support of Tánaiste Micheál Martin to lead Fianna Fáil into the next general election.
Michael McGrath made the comments while speaking to reporters in Cork on Friday.
Asked about the leadership of Fianna Fáil into the next general election, Mr McGrath said he believes Micheál Martin will remain at the helm of the party.
“Micheál Martin is doing a fantastic job as leader of our party.
“He was an outstanding Taoiseach and he’s continuing all of that work now to the highest standard as Tánaiste and I believe he will lead the party into the next general election.
“We have local and European elections in 12 months’ time.
“We all have to put our shoulder to the wheel. We’re selecting candidates right now for those local elections and after that then we will begin to think about the preparation for a general election.
“But a general election doesn’t need to happen until the spring of 2025 and Micheál Martin, as far as I’m concerned, will lead Fianna Fáil into that election,” he said.
Mr McGrath would not be drawn on any leadership aspirations of his own, should the position of party leader become available.
“I have always said I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
“I have never felt it helpful to comment on potential leadership issues down the line until they actually arise. I think that can be quite destabilising.
“I, and many others within the parliamentary party, will make their position clear when that arises, but I don’t anticipate that arising for quite some time. Micheál has my absolute 100 per cent support.
“I believe he will lead us into the next election.
“He is consistently shown in opinion polls now to be the most popular leader of any political party in Ireland, and I think that’s because people respect his sincerity, his track record, the work he has done.
“His record of public service really is remarkable, and I know he has the energy and the commitment to continue with that and he’d have my full support,” he said.