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Sinn Fein to table motion of no confidence in Government

Mary Lou McDonald said the party will table the motion in the Dail next week.

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Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald confirmed the party will table a motion of no confidence in the Government (PA)

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald confirmed the party will table a motion of no confidence in the Government (PA)

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald confirmed the party will table a motion of no confidence in the Government (PA)

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald confirmed the party has lodged a motion of no confidence in the Government, after the three-party coalition lost its majority following a vote on legislation on Wednesday evening.

The party will table the motion of no confidence in the Government in the Dail next week.

Former education minister Joe McHugh voted against the Government’s mica redress scheme Bill, which aims to compensate homeowners in four counties affected by defective building blocks.

He subsequently resigned the party whip.

In May, Green Party TDs Neasa Hourigan and Patrick Costello had the whip removed from them after they voted against the Government in a Sinn Fein motion on the National Maternity Hospital.

This has reduced the Government’s numbers to one less than a majority of 80.

Ms McDonald said the Government has “now lost its majority”.

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I think members also have to reflect on the fact that we are living through an inflationary spiral, a cost-of-living crisis, that families are struggling and will struggle very badly into the autumn and the winterMary Lou McDonald

She told RTE Morning Ireland: “It can certainly cobble together majorities for votes on a one-by-one basis, but two years on we believe that this Government has now run out of road. They’re out of time. They’re out of ideas.

“We think it’s important now that not just Sinn Fein as the leaders of the opposition, but that the entire opposition, including independent TDs, hold them to account and bring their tenure to an end.

“I think each individual member of the Dail will have to reflect on the performance of this Government, reflect on the fact that in so many ways, rather than things improving over the last two years, things have gotten so much worse.”

The Rural Independent Group of TDs confirmed on Friday afternoon that they will vote against the Government in next week’s no-confidence motion.

The leader of the six-member group, Mattie McGrath, said there is a “malaise” around the current Government.

“In the last two years, this Government has single-handedly set records for all the wrong reasons,” he said.

“Today these records include the highest hospital waiting lists, carbon taxes, national debt, energy taxes, social housing waiting lists and homelessness this country has ever experienced.

“Seemingly coincidental, this Government also holds the record for the highest number of highly paid ministerial advisers for any previous Irish administration.

“Given the abysmal performance of this Government, how could any TD feel good enough, or be brain-washed enough, about this Government to vote confidence in it next week?”

Asked if she believes she will win, Ms McDonald said: “We are always talking to colleagues on a cross party basis, but ultimately, every elected member of the Dail has to take responsibility for the position that they adopt.”

“Ultimately each will and no doubt some may consider that it’s better to hang on in and not to face the electorate at this juncture.”

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Taoiseach Micheal Martin said his Government has been ‘competent’ (PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said his Government has been ‘competent’ (PA)

PA

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said his Government has been ‘competent’ (PA)

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe accused Sinn Fein of being interested in “building a culture of instability”.

“Over the last two years, this is a country that has faced an extraordinary test in a pandemic and during that time we had to take extraordinary measures that did include the closure of the construction sector for a period of time,” Mr Donohoe said.

“This Government has put in place measures that helped our country recover from a pandemic, helped our economy recover from a pandemic, help society deal with a threat the like of which we have never confronted.

“While we have done that, we have also, for example in regard to housing, begin to see the number of planning permission granted, the number of homes that have been built, month-by-month.

“Sinn Fein are also interested in building a culture of instability, at a time when we can see the dangers of instability elsewhere.

“Families need to see homes being built, they need to have confidence about what support they can have.

“Sinn Fein are interested in creating an atmosphere of challenge, of uncertainty, at a time we can see the risks of that elsewhere.”

On Thursday, Irish premier Micheal Martin welcomed the prospect of a no-confidence vote.

He said: “It’s not unexpected that towards the end of the last week of this parliamentary session that they would put down a motion – opposition parties tend to do that from time to time.

“We have a good working majority, we welcome the opportunity that they present to us, to outline the fact that this has been a competent, good Government.”


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