TD raises questions over Martin’s leadership following byelection result

Asked if the Taoiseach should lead Fianna Fáil into the next election, Jim O’Callaghan replied: ‘We’ll have to think about that.’
TD raises questions over Martin’s leadership following byelection result

By James Ward, PA

Fianna Fáil TD Jim O’Callaghan has cast doubt on Micheál Martin’s leadership following the party’s disastrous result in the Dublin Bay South byelection.

Asked if the Taoiseach should lead Fianna Fáil into the next election, were it to go ahead as planned in 2025, Mr O’Callaghan replied: “We’ll have to think about that.”

Mr O’Callaghan, a TD for Dublin Bay South and director of elections for the party candidate Councillor Deirdre Conroy, was speaking after early tallies put her at just five per cent of the vote.

Dublin Bay South by-election
A tally keeper during the count for the Dublin Bay South byelection at Simmonscourt, RDS, in Ballsbridge, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

“Any leader who indicates a date of departure unnecessarily weakens himself.

“I fully understand why the Taoiseach says he’s going to lead Fianna Fáil into the next general election,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

Asked if he was concerned for his own seat at the next general election, he replied: “Certainly if the result is similar to this, there will be more than faint alarm bells and I would have thought there will be alarm bells ringing in the heads of most Fianna Fáil TDs in Dublin.”

He added: “Although this has been extremely disappointing and beyond what we thought was going to happen, there has been an awareness in Fianna Fáil since the last election that the party has been declining nationally and in Dublin in the polls.”

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