Marc MacSharry sticks the boot into Micheál Martin on his way out the door 1 month ago

Marc MacSharry sticks the boot into Micheál Martin on his way out the door

MacSharry has hit out at the "one-man show" he's left behind.

Former Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry has blasted the party in his first interview since announcing his shock resignation on Wednesday afternoon, mere hours before Dáil Éireann chaired a no-confidence debate over Simon Coveney.

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Coveney would go on to survive the vote, with 92 TDs voting in favour as opposed to 59 against.

Speaking on Ocean FM's North West Today show on Thursday morning (16 September), MacSharry labelled Fianna Fáil as a "one-man show" as he makes plans to stand as an independent candidate in the next general election.

MacSharry began his interview by noting that he didn't take his decision lightly but that things had gradually come to a head.

"I suppose it's no secret that over the course of the last nine months, the double standards that have been apportioned, the contempt with which Fine Gael were treating the Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil, and by extension all members of it, was troubling in the extreme, for me," he said.

MacSharry underlined that "some people are expendable and others are not" in the current government set-up. Asked why the Coveney situation, in particular, presented a serious enough issue to resign over, he responded:

"This just happened to the cumulative effect, it was the latest one. Over the course of the summer and a little bit before it we had 'Leakgate' with Cabinet confidentiality – and an ongoing investigation continues. Taoiseach Micheál Martin chose to be the first out [to] enthusiastically defend such actions rather than seek investigation.

"Later we have inconsistencies around Covid and the interpretation of restrictions and we saw where that went. Then we had the Merriongate incident, we had Zappone and the UN envoy position which is ongoing on many levels. We had an opportunity to discuss Fianna Fáil performance at our think-in last week and nothing really happened on the back of that."

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MacSharry then inadvertently referred to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar as Taoiseach, stating that Varadkar was "shoving everyone's face into the mud" following further revelations related to the Zappone affair.

MacSharry added that he sought clarity on all of these matters. Dissatisfied with the response from the Taoiseach, he felt he had to "take a stand" and thus resign from the party.

"As an isolated incident, last night's vote wouldn't have been enough for me on its own, but it's a cumulative effect [related to] the past year."

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Put to him that he had cut off his nose to spite his face by stepping down, MacSharry painted a dim view of the inner-workings of Fianna Fáil.

"I would take the view that increasingly under the current leadership, nobody, regardless of their experience or length of time served or anything like that, had or has any input other than Taoiseach Martin himself," he said.

"That is also unacceptable and one of the reasons that you put it to an end. You don't do it lightly and after 20 years in national politics and in the party, you don't take it lightly at all."

Responding to his letter of resignation, MacSharry praised previous Fianna Fáil leaders including Albert Reynolds, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen before turning his attention to the current regime.

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"I know the current leader personally for 30 years and I have a lived experience of his entire period as leader of Fianna Fáil. I'm sad to say – and it is very sad to say – that it's a one-man show and everybody else is expected to row in, blindly.

"They get to voice their view but their views have no consequence as to the actions of the leader and that's the sad reality of it. That wasn't the case with any other leader."

Featured Image via Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie