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Sinn Fein 'cosying up' with Fine Gael amid coalition speculation

A Sinn Fein senator has said her party is willing to enter coalition talks with Fine Gael amid speculation the two parties are “cosying up” together.

Senator Rose Conway Walsh said Sinn Fein would "of course" talk with Fine Gael about entering power together-depending on the outcome of the next general election.

Senator Rose Conway Walsh.

The remarks come after shock suggestions from junior minister Jim Daly that he has “no ideological objection” to Sinn Fein being in government, a suggestion which sparked a party backlash.

Speaking to RTE's the Week in Politics, Ms Conway Walsh said:

[quote]We will influence politics in whatever way we can until such time as we get into government.[/quote]

Fianna Fail last week also accused the government of “cosying up” to Sinn Fein. The resulting political backlash from with Fine Gael over the general issue prompted MEP Brian Hayes this weekend to say the party would split if this were to happen.

This was backed by Sen Neale Richmond, who in turn warned on the RTE show that he would leave Fine Gael if they entered power with Sinn Fein.

[quote]I don't think Sinn Fein are fit for government. They are a hard left party who haven't come to terms with their past. I would find the idea of the notion completely unacceptable, as would the vast majority of Fine Gael parliamentarians and ordinary members.[/quote]

But Sen. Conway Walsh dismissed the attack, adding:

“We want to be in government and we would hope that the electorate put us in government."

Asked whether Sinn Fein and Fine Gael would do business together depending on the outcome of the next general election, she replied:

“Of course it is [possible]. It is up to the people. I think the arrogance of saying of 'no we wouldn't do that'. We will talk to anybody, we will support anybody who has good ideas, as we are now, as long as we have to put up with this government until there is another election.

"Of course we will support good ideas, of course we will support this government if there is something in it in relation to Brexit if it is going to benefit the Irish people.”