Kitt urges Fianna Fail to support its leader
A FIANNA Fail stalwart has urged the party to unite behind the leader - insisting now is not time for a challenge.
Michael Kitt said Micheal Martin had his full support and called on the party's front bench to rally behind the leader.
Mr Kitt was speaking following concerns raised by party colleague Eamon O Cuiv about the state of the party.
However, while Mr Kitt had proposed Mr O Cuiv for the leadership back in 2011, he insisted that there should be no heave against Mr Martin now.
Galway East TD Mr Kitt said he agreed with Mr O Cuiv's call that the party needed to be more radical but urged high-profile party members to do more to assist the leader.
"I think Micheal Martin's engagement with the party and members has been really first class all around the country.
"I don't think the answer is to challenge the leader," he added.
The comments came as Mr Martin suffered a fresh blow by the news that one of Fianna Fail's rising stars has joined Lucinda Creighton's Renua Party.
Deputy chairperson of Kilkenny City Council Patrick McKee has stunned his party colleagues by agreeing to join the new movement. He is due to be formally unveiled as the party's by-election candidate at a press conference today.
Sources told the Herald that the councillor agreed to join Renua after holding a number of meetings with Ms Creighton.
The move is a major blow to Mr Martin whose leadership will come under more pressure if his candidate Bobby Aylward fails to win the by-election.
"It's a disaster for Micheal and the last thing he needed," said one TD.