19 Jan 2022

Kilkenny's John McGuinness: 'I can't disagree' with Mary Lou civil service comments

Reform is absolutely needed if Ireland is to succeed, says local Fianna Fail TD


Local TD John McGuinness

Local Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness says he can't disagree with comments made recently by Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald regarding the public and civil service.

In an interview with the Irish Examiner, Deputy McDonald said tackling the 'constipated' public and civil service would be one of the biggest challenges for Sinn Féin if elected to government. She reportedly said the public and civil service needed a 'jolt' to become more efficient.

In a Tweet posted to his over 5,200 Twitter followers this week, Deputy McGuinness responded to the article: "I can’t disagree with her comments on the civil and public service. Reform is absolutely needed if Ireland is to succeed."

The Kilkenny TD's reaction differed somewhat to some of his party colleagues; for example, Cork Fianna Fail TD Michael McGrath criticised Deputy McDonald's remarks as unwarranted.

Deputy McGuinness has previously differed slightly with senior party members on matters Sinn Fein. In the 2020 General Election, he posited that a Sinn Fein/Fianna Fail alliance could be an option to form a new government, and said Fianna Fáil should be open to talks. Party leader Micheal Martin repeatedly ruled out such a coalition.

Now, once again, a potential FF/SF partnership is a talking point in any speculation around the next general election. Sinn Fein is presently the most popular political party and Fianna Fail has shown improvement in recent polls. Their current government partners Fine Gael and the Green Party appear to have lost ground.

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