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Enda Kenny and Joan Burton trying on some virtual reality goggles. Niall Carson
Lap of honour

The government has tabled a motion of confidence... in itself

That’ll go down well.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS reordered Dáil business and tabled a motion of confidence in itself and Taoiseach Enda Kenny to be debated for up to three hours tomorrow afternoon.

The move is a response to Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin both tabling a motion of no confidence in the Taoiseach in the wake of the findings of the Fennelly Commission.

Fianna Fáil’s motion was due to be debated during its private members’ time tomorrow night, but the government has scuppered this by tabling its own motion of confidence, which will be debated from 2.30pm.

The confidence motion will be the first item discussed by TDs as the Dáil returns from its summer recess.

Fianna Fáil has heavily criticised the move, saying the government is attempting to avoid a proper discussion on the Fennelly report.

Justice spokesperson Niall Collins said: “The way that the Government has behaved in responding to our motion of no confidence is entirely consistent with how they attempted to bury the Fennelly Report when it was first published. 

“Instead of facilitating a debate on the implications of the report for the Taoiseach, the Government has now tabled a three hour debate on what a great job it is doing and what they see as the many outstanding qualities of Enda Kenny.

People can see this for what it is – the government attempting a contrived “lap of honour” rather than debating a report which had shocking revelations about how this government does its business at the highest levels.

Opposition parties have accused Kenny of having effectively sacked former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan last year.

The Taoiseach has claimed the Fennelly report vindicates him citing the commission of inquiry’s conclusion that “the former commissioner decided to retire, and that he could have decided otherwise”.

Fennelly also concluded that Department of Justice secretary general Brian Purcell’s visit to Callinan’s home on 24 March last year – on the instruction of the Taoiseach – was the “immediate catalyst” for the commissioner’s retirement the following day.

A poll has found that most people don’t believe the Taoiseach’s version of events.

Read: The Dáil’s back this week. Here are 7 things to look forward to in the new political season

Read: Enda Kenny isn’t out of the woods yet over Fennelly

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