'Fianna Fail is not fit for Government' - Senator Averil Power quits party with 'heavy heart'
FIANNA Fail Senator Averil Power has dramatically quit the party over its lack of support for the Marriage Equality Referendum.
An emotional Ms Power said she was leaving Fianna Fail with a "heavy heart" but said she could no longer support the party.
She said she has become "increasingly uncomfortable" with the party's vision and said it is "not fit for Government".
Ms Power said the party's "cynical and cowardly" approach to the same sex marriage referendum was the "final straw" and she will now see out her time in office as an Independent senator.
Ms Power's decision will come as a major blow for Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin who was last weekend celebrating the party's first by-election win in almost 20 years.
However, Ms Power said Mr Martin has become a "leader without any followers" who she can no longer support.
"His frontbench are all pulling in different directions and prioritising their personal political success over the needs of the party and the country," Ms Power told reporters.
She described been laughed at by Fianna Fail members when she suggested they should wear Yes badges in support of the referendum when they were canvassing to get Bobby Aylward elected in the Carlow/Kilkenny by-election.
She said the "vast majority" of her party refused to campaign for a Yes vote in the referendum.
Ms Power said it was too early to speculate on if she will run as an Independent TD in the forthcoming