A KERRY Fianna Fail councillor has called on Micheál Martin to resign as leader of the party following a very disappointing general election performance.
Cllr John Francis Flynn told KillarneyToday.com that the veteran Cork politician should consider his position and allow a new person to plan for the future and rebuild the organisation.
He said Mr Martin has made “several bad decisions” but the biggest error of all was persisting with the confidence and supply pact that propped up the minority Fine Gael administration.
“He gave no say to the party’s TDs or ordinary members when he extended the confidence and supply arrangement for another year. There were 45 TDs elected and they should have had a say,” Cllr Flynn.
“Members throughout the county pay €20 a year for membership of the party and they are just not getting a say”.
The Killorglin councillor, 28, who previously branded Mr Martin “a dictator”, said the FF leader and general secretary Seán Dorgan – a Castlegregory man who has held the position since 2007 – have made too many poor decisions and it is time for fresh faces at the helm.
“Micheál Martin was there at the time of the crash and he is linked with that time in Fianna Fail’s past. I think the party has always been on the back-foot because of Micheál Martin’s involvement during that bad time in our history.
“As I see it, he is putting his own personal interests and his ambition to be Taoiseach ahead of the party and that’s not good enough,” Cllr Flynn said.
The Kerry councillor admitted that he never thought Mr Martin was the right man for the job and he never endorsed him.
He said he knows that numerous members of the Fianna Fail organisation in Kerry – including some elected councillors – agree with his stance but they might not be saying so publicly.
Cllr Flynn said he believes FF TDs Michael McGrath or Jim O’Callaghan would be good leadership material but, he stressed, when talks to form a new government get underway, Fianna Fail should talk to Sinn Fein.
“We must acknowledge that the people have voted for Sinn Fein and democracy must be respected,” he said.
Fianna Fail failed in its bid to win two seats in Kerry with outgoing TD John Brassil losing his place in Dáil Éireann to party colleague Norma Foley who party bosses insisted on adding to the ticket alongside Cllr Norma Moriarty.
Fianna Fail strategists came under heavy and sustained fire for not adding a candidate in Killarney or East Kerry which all but conceded that key battleground – a traditional FF stronghold – to the Healy-Rae organisation.
Mr Martin emphatically denied that there was an agreement with the Healy-Raes that a candidate would not be based in East Kerry in return for their support for him in his ambition to become Taoiseach.
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