WATCH: Longford/Westmeath TD Robert Troy slams Sinn Féin supporters chants to 'Come Out, Ye Black and Tans'

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

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liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie


Fianna Fáil's Robert Troy has slammed the antics of Sinn Féin supporters chanting to rebel songs in Dublin earlier today after their party made huge gains on the national political stage.

The Ballynacargy native was speaking after his election to the 33rd Dail was all but confirmed following early tallies which were taken in the Longford/Westmeath constituency earlier today.

Mr Troy said he was delighted by his party's own performance in the constituency which sees them well placed to secure two seats, a target senior chiefs had set aside in the lead up to election day.

"We went into this election with a clear strategy, a strategy which was to return two TDs from this constituency to help bring about an alternative government," he said.

"I am delighted over the role I have played in what was a very strict vote management in terms of dividing the constituency between myself and Joe (Flaherty) and it looks positive that we will be able to benefit from that strategy.

"I am very satisfied with my own first preference vote given the trend that is out there towards the Sinn Féin party. That's heartening, that the work, the effort, the time and the commitment that I put into represent the people of Longford/Westmeath have been acknowledged by my own first preference vote."

That said, Mr Troy expressed his disappointment at Fianna Fáil's inability to capitalise on the collapse in the Fine Gael vote nationally.

He conceded Fianna Fáil's decision to enter into a four year confidence and supply arrangement with Fine Gael had played a part in limiting its own vote while also playing into the hands of Sinn Féin.

"It says the electorate resonated to some of the things Sinn Féin were saying and what it said was people wanted an element of change," he said.

"There was a difficulty on our part to demonstrate that we would be an alternative and that they would be getting a change with Fianna Fáil despite acting in the national interest for the last four years in providing certainty and stability for the country in the Brexit negotiations. That wasn't rewarded because there was a perception there that we were far too closely associated with Fine Gael.

"Of course we are disappointed. We wanted to increase our seats in Dáil Éireann. Our message didn't resonate in certain constituencies and that's plain to be seen."

On the topic of government formation, the Westmeath postmaster said it was incumbent on the main winners from this weekend's general election to form a stable and secure government.

"The people have spoken, at the end of the day the people are sovereign and we have to respect the democratic wish of the people and there will be an onus on all political parties to sit down and negotiate how we are going to tackle the issues that are out there in terms of health, housing and the high cost of insurance," he said.

However, he issued a swingeing rebuke on images of Sinn Féin supporters in a Dublin count centre earlier today chanting to the tune of rebel songs.

"I don't think what's helpful is when international media is looking in on results coming in here today and for them to see people celebrating to the theme tune of 'Come out ye Black and Tans'," he said.

"Obviously everyone who has been elected have a democratic mandate but we also must acknowledge the sensitivities that may be out there as well.W