DESPITE FRESH CALLS for Health Minister James Reilly to resign the Dáil cannot hear another opposition motion of no confidence in the Minister until March of next year.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said on RTÉ Radio this morning that his party would move another motion of no confidence in the Minister as soon as Dáil procedures would allow.
But under Standing Order 56 this cannot happen until six months after the last no confidence motion which was in September and was defeated by the government majority.
The Ceann Comhairle has the discretion to apply a shorter period than six months but this is unlikely to happen. Sinn Féin also has intentions to table a motion of no confidence in the Minister.
Reilly is under renewed pressure over the decisions he took in relation to primary care centre locations with the Irish Times reporting at the weekend that he added two proposed sites in his constituency to the final list the night before the list of locations was announced.
The Minister has insisted that he had “not hand, act or part” in the selection of a site at Balbriggan that was owned by a Fine Gael member in his constituency.
He has insisted that the process applied for the selection of sites was an in-depth one, telling the Dáil in October: “One and one makes two, and two and two makes four, but four by four makes sixteen and not four and four that makes eight. It is a logistical, logarithmic progression.”
Former junior health minister Róisín Shortall who had established the original criteria for the selection of sites disagreed with this and resigned over the decision, saying at the weekend that the choice of sites was “stroke politics”.
On Morning Ireland, Martin said: “There was no rationale for the addition of 15 more [sites to the original list of 20 for primary care centres], There was no criteria involved,” he said describing the decision-making as “shambolic”.
Speaking this morning in Dublin, Reilly said there was no justification for calling on him to resign or tabling a no confidence motion. He told reporters that he would not change anything about the selection of primary care centres.
“I’ve made it very clear I stand over what I did, and if I had it all to do again I would do it again,” he said according to Newstalk, adding that there was “very clearly a need” for primary care centres in the locations already announced.