A rather odd report from Extra.ie, the tabloid-style Irish news and culture website, on a recent appearance by Simon Coveney, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, on RTÉ Radio 1.
The Cork TD was speaking on RTE Radio 1 when the host, Sean O’Rourke, read out a text from a listener asking why Mr Coveney didn’t engage with Sinn Fein as he was ‘sounding like a socialist’.
The Tanaiste of the caretaker Government cited ‘incompatibility’ and a lack of opposition as a reason for avoiding Sinn Fein in formation talks.
He said: ‘What I’m committed to doing within Fine Gael, and it’s my job to lead the negotiation on behalf of our party, is to work with other parties that I believe are compatible and can work with us around a cabinet table to make the decisions that need to be made.
‘I don’t believe that we can sustain a government for four or five years, effectively without an opposition in a way that’s in the interests of Ireland,’ concluded Mr Coveney
On Tuesday, the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar announced that there would be no second election and Extra.ie revealed that Fine Gael had not given up hope on the Green Party joining them in a coalition.
So is Simon Coveney saying that a Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael-led coalition government, perhaps with the inclusion or support of minority parties like the Greens, Labour and the Soc Dems, would need a Sinn Féin-led Opposition to, essentially, keep it in line?
That must be wrong.