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Fianna Fáil says government is 'incoherent and shambolic' but will 'ensure it survives'

The motion was tabled in response to a motion of no confidence in Enda Kenny tabled by Sinn Féin.

Image: RollingNews.ie

Update 9.02 am

FIANNA FÁIL HAS described the government’s handling of the Maurice McCabe revelations as “incoherent and shambolic” but insisted that it will ensure the government survives.

Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson Billy Kelleher made the comments on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland ahead of today’s Dáil debate on a motion of confidence in the government.

The motion was tabled in response to a motion of no confidence in Enda Kenny tabled by Sinn Féin over the government’s handling of the controversy over an alleged smear campaign against Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

Fianna Fáil has said that it will abstain in the vote of no confidence with Kelleher saying that it’s about ensuring the country has a government.

“We will not be supporting the Sinn Fein motion, in other words we will not be bring down this government at this present time,” he said.

We are committed to the principal of supply and confidence for three budgets and unless there are further developments we will ensure that this government survives.

Despite this, Kelleher said that Fine Gael will have to “pull up their socks” due to what he described as its “incoherent and shambolic” response to the McCabe affair.

The TD added that the vote must also be seen in the context of Sinn Féin playing “no meaningful role” in ensuring a government was formed after last year’s general election.

Debate

The Dáil yesterday spent three hours hearing statements and asking questions on the issue. During that session, the Taoiseach said he gave inaccurate information in relation to a meeting Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone had with McCabe.

Kenny said that Zappone had not told him that she was going to meet with McCabe before their meeting.

90407814_90407814 Fianna Fáil spokesperson on health Billy Kelleher. Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

He had previously told RTÉ’s This Week on Sunday that Zappone had told him she would be meeting with McCabe. In response to a question from Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin, he said:

“I might say mea culpa, because I am guilty here of not giving accurate information.

“I understood from thinking myself that she had asked me about meeting Sergeant McCabe in the first place.”


Tribunal

The government yesterday agreed to establish a tribunal of inquiry into the scandal. The terms of reference will be finalised over the coming weeks.

However, opposition members yesterday called for the tribunal to include other Garda whistleblowers.

Yesterday, whistleblower Keith Harrison demanded his case be included. In a statement issued through his solicitors yesterday afternoon, Harrison called for “truth and justice”.

Harrison claims that the incidents of alleged black propaganda contained in the protected disclosures of Superintendent David Taylor and McCabe are “not isolated”.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Prime Time last night, Fine Gael TD John Deasy claimed he had been approached in January 2014 by a senior garda, who made allegations against McCabe.

He said he believed there was a campaign against McCabe run by gardaí at a senior level.

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

Read: Enda Kenny takes a number of different positions on Zappone conversation

Read: 5 serious questions for the government that Dáil ‘clarifications’ did not clarify

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