The leader of the Republic of Ireland’s main political party has said he is “absolutely determined” to stay in office until 2019 and said he would fight to keep the country’s current government in power.
Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin said in an interview published on Saturday that he is confident he can remain in power despite his defeat at the polls on Friday night.
He said he had no regrets and that his party was the “best” and “strongest” he could have hoped for.
“I’m going to go on.
I have nothing to regret.
I’m not going to be bitter or anything like that,” he said.”
We’re not going anywhere.
We’ve got a lot of work to do.
We’ll continue to fight, and we’ll keep fighting.”
Martin, who is also the TD for Dublin South West, said he will not “give up”.
“It’s all going to work out,” he told RTÉ’s Today with Dara O’Sullivan.
“What’s important is to stay here and do the job we’re doing, and I think we’re the best we can be in that role.”
Martin said the poll result had left him feeling “tired” of his party and that he felt “really proud” of Fiannah Fáíl.
“That is what I want people to see, we’re proud of the work we’re having,” he added.
“It doesn’t matter who you are.
If you’re going to vote for a government that is committed to working with the people of this country, then I think you have to vote.”
If you’re not, then you’re doing it wrong.
“Martin also said he has no plans to retire, but that his successor would be an important figure for the country.”
There will be a new prime minister, a new minister in the next two years,” he continued.”
They’ll make decisions on what I do, and who’s going to make those decisions, and they’ll do that in a way that’s very democratic.”‘
We’ve got to do this in a responsible way’Martin’s comments come as Fianniacs new leader Micheáll Martin was criticised by some of his own party for being too pro-EU.
Speaking to RTÉ News, Martin insisted his party is not pro-Brexit.”
Yes, we are pro-European, but we have to do it in a respectful way,” he insisted.”
Our goal is to do what is right for Ireland.
I think if we can continue to do that, then we can do that.
“This is not a referendum on Europe.
We don’t have to decide that.”
He added: “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter how.
We have to come to a compromise on Ireland’s relationship with Europe.”‘
It’s a real shame’Martin was forced to resign as Fírí Bellic’s candidate for Dublin North East following the defeat of his predecessor.
“You can’t take the position that you’re in favour of a referendum or a referendum, you can’t even be in favour,” he argued.
“Because the people want to know, they want to decide.”
Martin told RTI that Fiannac’s decision to sack Bellic was “a real shame”.
“I think it’s the wrong decision.
I’ve had discussions with him, and it’s been a real difficult process.”
He’s done a great job, and he’s a very experienced leader, but I think it is important that we continue to focus on getting this country back on track.