Sinn Féin confirms motion of no confidence in Government

ireland
Sinn Féin Confirms Motion Of No Confidence In Government Sinn Féin Confirms Motion Of No Confidence In Government
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Vivienne Clarke

Main Opposition party Sinn Féin will table a motion of no confidence in the Government next week.

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald confirmed the motion would be lodged this morning after a meeting of TDs.

It comes after the coalition Government lost its Dáil majority on Wednesday night, when Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh resigned the party whip over the mica redress scheme.

Mr McHugh’s defection means that the number of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Greens TDs currently under their party whips no longer forms a majority in the Dáil.

However, the Government tends to win votes comfortably with the support of several Independents and Coalition TDs who have temporarily lost their party whips.

Mrs McDonald told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that while the Government could “cobble together” support for votes one at a time, the point was that the Government had lost its majority.

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This Government has run out of road, run out of time and ideas

“It’s two years on, this Government has run out of road, run out of time and ideas," she said. “It’s time to hold them to account and end their term.”

Mrs McDonald said it was up to each individual member of the Dáil to reflect on the performance of this Government and the issues that had grown worse such as housing, the current inflationary spiral and the cost-of-living crisis.

Sinn Féin would talk to colleagues on a cross-party basis, she said. Ultimately it was up to every member of the Dáil to take responsibility for their action. Some might decide it was better “to hang in” rather than face an election at this juncture, she added.

Mrs McDonald criticised the manner in which the Government dealt with the Mica redress issue and rushed legislation through the Dáil. On the night of the vote, she said she heard somebody sob in the public gallery.

The Government had clearly lost touch, she said. “These people need to go.”

'Lack of humility'

Speaking earlier this morning before confirmation of the no-confidence motion, Independent TD Michael McNamara said he would not vote confidence in the Government should the motion go ahead.

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The Government was not controlling what it could, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland. “There is an abject lack of humility by this Government,” he added.

The lack of a “balanced” aviation policy had led to one airport being overwhelmed while two others were underused, Mr McNamara said.

It was the same with health with one hospital, University Hospital Limerick, being overcrowded with the safety of patients at great risk. When UHL had been reconfigured, emergency departments at Ennis and Nenagh hospitals had closed, but the promised levels of beds in UHL had not materialised.

A very damning Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) report had highlighted the difficulties in UHL, he added. The hospital had the lowest levels of beds and consultants per capita.

Mr McNamara also criticised the way in which the pyrite issue had been debated in the Dáil, saying a Bill over its redress had been “rammed through”.

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The Data Retention Bill had also been “rammed” through the Dáil, he added.

The Opposition had a job to scrutinise legislation, but that was not being allowed. “Democracy is important, how we make laws is important,” he said.

Mr McNamara said the Planning Bill which passed through the Dáil recently had been raised to deal with anomalies in existing legislation, yet it was rushed through without scrutiny which would create more anomalies.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Thursday welcomed the prospect of a no-confidence vote in his Government, saying it gives a chance to show that “this has been a competent, good government”.

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