"Spineless and baseless" – Norma Foley blasts "no policies" Sinn Féin
Strong words for the opposition.
Minister for Education Norma Foley didn't hold back while launching a scathing critique in the direction of her Sinn Féin rivals.
Foley's heated remarks arrived during her introduction of Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis in Dublin over the weekend.
According to the Irish Examiner, Minister Foley accused Sinn Féin of having "no policies" while labelling the party as "negative, spineless and baseless".
Foley added that the current Government has faced down "the most relentlessly negative, aggressive and cynical opposition our country has ever seen". The Minister then accused the party of only offering up soundbites to the public, as opposed to any practical solutions.
The comments arrive in tandem with the latest public opinion poll, conducted by the Sunday Independent / Ireland Thinks, which appears to indicate Sinn Féin gaining yet more ground in popularity.
The results of poll, which was conducted following last week's Budget unveiling, look like this:
Sinn Féin | 37% (+1)
Fine Gael | 21% (N/A)
Fianna Fáil | 17% (+1)
Independents | 8% (-3)
Green Party | 4% (+2)
People Before Profit – Solidarity | 4% (-1)
Social Democrats | 3% (-1)
Labour | 3% (N/A)
Aontú | 3% (N/A)
Though he is set to stand down from his role in December, Michéal Martin has confirmed his intention to return as Taoiseach in the future.
Martin made the comment while speaking on Newstalk's The Anton Savage Show ahead of the second day of Fianna Fáil's Ard Fheis.
During the interview, Savage pointed out that a Fianna Fáil leader appearing at an Ard Fheis knowing they were going to hand the office to a Fine Gael leader would have once been "unthinkable".
"We are in a different era in respect of politics," Martin replied. "It calls for greater humility, it calls for greater pragmatism in terms of focusing on the issues and what holds the Government together is the programme for Government.
"I take your point, historically and indeed in politics more generally, personalities always come into it. But there comes a time, too, when we must always assert the primacy of policy and substance above all of that."
In closing the conversation, Savage asked Martin if he will be back as Taoiseach, to which he replied: "Yes, that's my intention."
Featured Imagery via Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie