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Tánaiste Micheál Martin says he wants this Government to last its ‘full term’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told his parliamentary party this week he does not want a winter election, hinting on the country going to the polls in autumn 2024.

Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank McGrath

Tánaiste Micheál Martin© PA

Gabija GataveckaiteIndependent.ie

Tánaiste Micheál Martin has said he wants to see this Government last its “full term” of five years.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told his parliamentary party this week he does not want a winter election, hinting on the country going to the polls in autumn 2024.

However, Mr Martin suggested he would prefer to see the Government last five years instead of an election in autumn next year.

“I’ve always consistently said that once an election happens, those that are elected into Government should go full term,” he told RTÉ.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin© PA

“As a young person, I experienced three elections in 18 months. It doesn’t help for good governance. Having four or five elections in a decade is bad for good governance. You need Governments that can last the five years, in my view, so that policies implemented have some chance of getting through.”

The Irish law states a general election should be held within five years since the first sitting of the current Dáil.

At the very latest, this would mean an election in March 2025, however, Mr Varadkar has indicated autumn 2024 might be the right time.

Mr Martin added speculation about election dates is “not helpful”.

He revealed embattled Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe spoke to him over the weekend and told him what the issue is in regards to his 2020 general election expenses and how they have been declared to Sipo.

Mr Martin said Mr Donohoe will make a “presentation” to the Dáil on Tuesday.

“He wants to give a comprehensive account and respond to questions Deputies may have.

“He spoke to me over the weekend and I am confident in what he has said.”

Mr Donohoe has already amended his 2016 returns, saying he did not know businessman Michael Stone paid individuals to put up campaign posters during the 2016 General Election.

It emerged on Friday that an issue had arisen with his 2020 general election expenses statement, though it is unclear what this issue is.

The minister is set to address the Dáil in a questions and answers session on Tuesday on the issue.

Mr Martin backed Mr Donohoe, saying Sipo is “ultimately in charge”.


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