SINN FÉIN has confirmed that it is to table a motion of no confidence in the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, in the Dáil next week.
A party spokesperson confirmed to TheJournal.ie this afternoon that the party – along with independent TDs Finian McGrath and Maureen O’Sullivan, in the guise of its Dáil ‘technical group’ – would be using its Private Members’ Time in the Dáil to table the motion of no confidence in Cowen, hoping to nudge disaffected Fianna Fáil TDs and independents into voting against the leader.
The spokesperson said, however, that the party was hoping to work in partnership with Fine Gael, whose Private Members Time is scheduled for next week in the Dáil.
If the technical group was unable to convince Fine Gael to table the motion on its own time, it would be prepared to wait until its own assigned time came up.
This is not scheduled until March, however, when the government hopes to have passed the Finance Bill and to have dissolved the Dáil ahead of the general election.
The developments come as rumours continue to circulate about a potential leadership heave against Cowen at Fianna Fáil’s parliamentary party meeting this afternoon.
A Fine Gael spokesperson said they were not aware of any contact from Sinn Féin about the proposal, and would not be commenting on the technical group’s plans until after this afternoon’s Fianna Fáíl meeting.