EXCLUSIVE

Micheál Martin targets second Dáil seat for Fianna Fáil in Laois

Party looks set to move away from one seat strategy at next General Election in the three seat constituency where the party holds one seat alongside a Fine Gael Minister and Sinn Féin TD

Pat Somers

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Pat Somers

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pat@leinsterexpress.ie

Martin targets second Dail seat in Laois

Michael Martin addressing the Fianna Fail dinner dance in Durrow

Fianna Fail is targeting a second seat in Laois.

That was the message delivered by Micheal Martin when he addressed the Laois Fianna Fail dinner dance in the Castle Arms Durrow on Friday night.

The Fianna Fail leader noted Sean Fleming's "extraordinary vote" in the 2016 general election which was 35 per cent of the vote.

"That creates the platform for us to go after the second seat in the next election," he stated.
"The target now is that."
"I have asked all members of our parliamentary to look in their own constituencies and see how they can add seats, so that we have a critical mass of seats and can take government next time around.

"We need to go to into government with sufficient strength and capacity to be decisive in government, something the current government is not.
"It is drifting and lacking direction in some key policy areas, such as health, housing and Brexit.
"Fine Gael is beset by internal angst, because of their leadership and other issues. They were annoyed after the general election, and annoyed with the idea we were facilitating a minority led government.
"They have not settled down and that is having an impact."

Deputy Martin paid tribute to the party organisation and councillors.
The 2014 local elections were the first major springboard in the party's comeback, he noted.
"We emerged as the largest party in local government in the country. But we did not get everything right in those local elections. We got things wrong, such as some of our selection choices. We could have done better if we were wiser. Hindsight is a great virtue and we will learn from it," he added.