The Republic of Ireland's party in government, Fianna Fail, will not be represented at the Northern Ireland Assembly by their latest member, Gerry McHugh, he disclosed this week.

Clarifying his position, Mr. McHugh who announced on Monday that he had become a member of Fianna Fail, said that he remained an independent MLA.

A spokesperson for the Party in Dublin said, "Fianna Fáil has no plans, at this stage, to be represented at elected-office level in Northern Ireland." His announcement comes a day after the County Fermanagh Fianna Fail Forum was launched in Enniskillen. The meeting was attended by around 80 people, of various political persuasions and also those who did not have any political affiliations. There were a number of high profile people attending the meeting including business consultant, Mr. Peter Quinn and a number of SDLP members in Fermanagh.

Mr.McHugh said he wanted to join a party which had as its goal a vision to achieve a 32-county Irland. But he stressed this would be done on a basis of consensus and he also realised there could not be a timetable for such an event happening.

"I know that parties in the North can never bring about what I think can be achieved. And there is no party in the South except Fianna Fail that can do that. I was asked to become a member of Fianna Fail, " he said.

Mr McHugh said he had seen their youth branch in action and was very impressed with their level of enthusiasm and drive to see a United Ireland.

He said he was aware of the work being done on a cross-border basis "I see it from a bigger picture. I think the parties here are narrow in their approach.

He said he was remaining an independent MLA and could not change that without a decision by the party.

But he did not rule out standing for Fianna Fail in future elections. He said he wanted to see the party contesting elections in Northern Ireland.

"This is a seismic step," he described his move.

Mr. McHugh says he was well placed to make a contribution to Fianna Fail because of his knowledge of all-Ireland politics, having been a member of Sinn Fein for a considerable number of years.

Mr. McHugh left Sinn Fein two years ago citing his perceived problems with a lack of democracy. He became a councillor with Fermanagh District Council in 1993 and was elected Chairman in 2003/2004 and was elected an MLA on three occasions in 1998, 2003 and 2007.

The Forum was also attended by Mr. Eamon O'Cuív TD, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD.

The Fermanagh County Forum is the third Fianna Fail County Forum to be established, following previous launches of the County Down Forum and County Armagh Forum. More are soon to follow.

The Party spokesperson stated, "These fora are being established to give people who have an interest in Fianna Fáil an opportunity to meet with like-minded people who share the party's ideals and beliefs and interface with Fianna Fáil public representatives from the Republic. Forum meetings are open to members of the public and membership of Fianna Fáil is not required to attend such meetings. However, those who attend these meetings are invited to apply for individual membership of Fianna Fáil so that they can be kept informed of party news." Fianna Fáil's strategy in relation to Northern Ireland is managed by a subcommittee of the Fianna Fáil National Executive, chaired by Dermot Ahern TD, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. This committee meets regularly to review progress, plan future development and work with interested persons in a spirit of mutual co-operation.

She said the committee welcomes membership applications from persons from all traditions who subscribe to our views.

However Sinn Féin Councillor for Erne West, Phil Flangan has commenting on the launch of Fianna Fáil in Fermanagh said "I welcome anyone who feels that they can help to bring about the reunification of this island to the political arena in Fermanagh, but I would urge caution on those who believe that Fianna Fáil are now a 32 county republican party.

"This county has long been forgotten about by governments in Belfast & London, but Dublin has been just as bad, and Fianna Fáil are as guilty as any for this negligence.

"Where were Fianna Fáil when the people of Fermanagh needed them?

"I find it astounding that now, in the middle of an economic crisis that is crippling the 26 counties, Fianna Fáil feel that they have something productive to offer politics in the North of Ireland, and especially the people of Fermanagh. Let us not forget that Fianna Fáil have been the majority party of a coalition government since 1997. The current Fianna Fáil Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan, has branded southern shoppers that come to places like Enniskillen to carry out their shopping as 'unpatriotic'. Fianna Fáil are clearly a partitionist party and their policy of encouraging shoppers to remain loyal to the 26 counties reinforces this.