New Taoiseach announced following historic coalition deal

15 June 2020, 15:44

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin
Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin is set to become Ireland's new Taoiseach as the country's two largest political parties strike a deal to enter a shared government for the first time in history.

Mr Martin will share the premiership with current Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael Leo Varadkar on a rotating basis over the next five years, remaining in power until December 2022.

Mr Varadkar has been caretaker Taoiseach since February 8.

The coalition government will contain the two parties, who have long been bitter rivals, and also the Green Party.

It has been 128 days since a general election proved fruitless in providing a clear leading party, and talks have been ongoing since to find an agreement between the two sides.

Any draft programme for government is yet to be published, however it is believed that it will contain a major stimulus package for the economy following the problems of the coronavirus crisis.

The new coalition is also expected to push for a reduction in carbon emissions and an increase in carbon tax.

It will be presented to the parliamentary parties at 5.30pm on Monday, however the outcome of votes among the wider memberships are not expected to be known until the end of next week.

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar
Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar. Picture: PA

The coalition is a surprising turn of events, with many believing an agreement between the two parties would not be possible.

Both parties have their roots in the Irish Civil War of 1922-23 and have been rivals ever since.

Every government prior to this has been led by one of the two parties.

It also follows Sinn Fein's surge in the February election. Fianna Fail won the most seats in the election with 38 to Sinn Fein’s 37 and Fine Gael’s 35. The Greens won 12.

Speaking outside Government buildings in Dublin on Monday, Mr Martin said: “The major issues have been resolved and obviously we’ll present the programme for Government to our parliamentary parties, that’s important, and then out to the membership for ballot.

“But I think the programme as it’s now formulated does represent a significant new departure in terms of public policy, particularly in relation to housing, health, education and climate change itself, because I think it is important."

“This is an agreement that, from my point of view and certainly from the point of view of the country, is going to be a good one and one that is very much in line with Fine Gael’s values and principles,” Mr Varadkar said as he attended an event in Dublin on Monday morning.

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

The UK has supplied defensive weapon systems to Ukraine amid a Russian military build-up on its border

UK Foreign Office in 'crisis mode' as Russian invasion of Ukraine could be days away


Rudy Giuliani among Trump allies subpoenaed by Capitol riot panel

Two people arrested by Greater Manchester Police after the Texas synagogue stand-off have been released

Teenagers held in Manchester over Texas synagogue siege released without charge

Italy Aristocrat Auction

£393m Rome villa with Caravaggio ceiling fails to sell in court-ordered auction

Russian troops

Russia moves more troops westwards amid Ukraine tensions

Anders Breivik gave a Nazi salute as he enters parole hearing

Shameless mass killer Anders Brevik gives Nazi salute as he applies for early release

Nursultan Nazarbayev

Kazakhstan’s ex-leader denies fleeing abroad amid protests

Virus Outbreak Hong Kong

Hong Kong to cull 2,000 animals after hamsters get Covid-19

Roberta Metsola

Maltese legislator Roberta Metsola elected European Parliament president

New Zealand Tonga Volcano Eruption

Volcanic ash delays aid to Tonga as scale of damage emerges

Virus Outbreak China

Parcels from overseas may have spread Omicron – Chinese state media

Leaked military photos have surfaced showing the scale of destruction on Tonga

Tonga tsunami: 3 confirmed dead as leaked military photos show 'catasrophic' damage

Dominic Raab said there will be "economic consequences" if Russia invades Ukraine.

UK sends troops and weapons to Ukraine amid fears of a Russian invasion

The incident took place at the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas

Rabbi escaped Texas synagogue siege by throwing a chair at his British captor

Large waves crash ashore at Wrights Beach, north of Bodega Bay, California, following a massive undersea volcanic explosion of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano in Tonga. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP)

Flights sent to assess Tonga damage after volcanic eruption

An employee of Sotheby’s Dubai presents a 555.55 carat black diamond

Out of this world: 555.55-carat black diamond lands in Dubai