And so it seems that Fianna Fail is to put its money where its attention has been for some time:
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has confirmed his party’s intention to stand for election in Northern Ireland in 2019. “I’ve set that as a target to field candidates,” he said.
The party passed a motion from Donegal North East and Dublin Bay South delegates without debate – it called for active and serious participating and engagement in the political process in Northern Ireland. “Following on from this, the party should begin fielding candidates for election there for 2019.”
Mr Martin said the party had a growing northern membership who were anxious to participate. The party has already begun to organise locally with the establishment of a number of cumainn.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Martin highlighted his particular interest in the North “to keep it on the Government radar”. He said he visited the North quite often and had made some significant speeches on Northern Ireland and North/South issues.
“We’re impatient with the lack of progress North/South,” he said. “The first phase of our engagement with the North is very much on a policy basis. In terms of an electoral phase, I think 2019 would be a key date in terms of targeting for participation in Northern elections.”
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty