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Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 16 August 2022

Government loses Dáil majority as FG TD Joe McHugh votes against mica Bill and resigns party whip

In a statement on Twitter, the Donegal TD said he is resigning the whip with “a heavy heart” but he believes it is the right thing to do.

Fine Gael TD for Donegal Joe McHugh
Fine Gael TD for Donegal Joe McHugh
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

DONEGAL FINE GAEL TD Joe McHugh has resigned the Fine Gael whip after he voted against the Government’s proposed mica redress legislation, leaving the Government without a majority.

In a statement on Twitter, McHugh said he is resigning the whip with “a heavy heart”, but believes it is the right thing to do.

“This evening I voted against the ‘Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022′. While I acknowledge the work that has gone into the proposed compensation package, the Bill still needs improvement in key areas and I have engaged extensively with the Government on these,” he said.

“I believe that insufficient time has gone into debating the Bill, which could have allowed these issues to be addressed to improve this legislation to meet the needs of the people affected by this devastating issue.

“I confirm that I am resigning the whip of Fine Gael and while I do so with a heavy heart I believe that it is the right decision.”

It follows the whip being withdrawn from two Green Party TDs Patrick Costello and Neasa Hourigan in late May after they voted against the Government on a Sinn Féin motion on the National Maternity Hospital.

McHugh resigning the Fine Gael whip leaves the government with 79 government TDs, one TD short of the required 80 for a majority within the Dáil.

Despite McHugh voting against the legislation, it was passed by the Government with 71 votes to 67.

People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy told the Dáil that the Government had lost their majority and questioned if there were conclusions that could be drawn as to why.

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“Are you going to draw any conclusions from the fact that you’ve lost your majority,” Murphy asked Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien.

“Will you avoid doing further damage to your government, to your political parties by drawing the lessons and doing right by the homeowners?”

Additional reporting by Jane Moore

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