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Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Haydn West/PA Archive Labour's Jan O'Sullivan said the reshuffle would only give some TDs "a leg-up in the run up to the election."
# Reshuffle
Don't bother with reshuffle, call an election - opposition
The opposition parties say the latest developments around the cabinet table are a sign an election should be called.

OPPOSITION PARTIES have insisted that Brian Cowen should not proceed with a cabinet reshuffle, and instead call a general election, in the wake of the resignations of four more cabinet ministers last night.

Following the resignations of Mary Harney, Noel Dempsey, Dermot Ahern and Tony Killeen – none of whom are to contest the next general election, whenever it occurs – opposition parties have again repeated calls for an immediate

A Fine Gael spokesperson said the new vacancies only underlined the need for an immediate election, though health spokesperson Dr James Reilly did have some kind words for the departing minister.

Harney’s legacy was “ridding Dublin of a serious smog problem that gave rise to enormous health benefits”, RTÉ quotes Reilly as offering, though adding: “Sadly her tenure in the Department of Health was not what it could have been.”

Labour’s Jan O’Sullivan, meanwhile, said the new appointments were “an effort to give threatened Fianna Fáil TDs a leg up in the run up to the election… this act of deathbed political jobbery is likely to rebound on Mr Cowen and Fianna Fáil.”

The resignations also came as further vindication, she said, of the Labour decision to table a motion of no confidence in the government.

Sinn Féin said Harney’s departure was “widely welcomed” and further underlined the need for an immediate general election.

It is not just opposition parties, however, who have expressed frustration at the new vacancies – the Green Party’s Paul Gogarty said he didn’t think this party should have to “put up” with the new vacancies.

“It appears to be highly co-ordinated… with five vanacies out of 15, it does smack of a surreal situation,” Gogarty said. ”If I were an independent, I’d tell you straight out I’d be voting against the proposal to appoint any new ministers… it smacks of betrayal of the country to resign at this stage.”