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Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry resigns party whip and will vote against Simon Coveney in confidence motion

The debate on the confidence motion is scheduled for this evening.

Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry.
Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry.
Image: Leah Farrell/

Updated Sep 15th 2021, 5:32 PM

MARC MACSHARRY TD is to resign the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party and intends to vote no confidence in Fine Gael Minister Simon Coveney this evening. 

Coveney is facing a no confidence motion being tabled by Sinn Féin in the Dáil over his handling over the nomination of Katherine Zappone to a UN role. 

McSharry had voiced concerns about his party’s position to enforce a whipped vote in supporting the government minister and has resigned the parliamentary party as a result.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin had said that a six month suspension for TDs would apply for those who vote against the government or abstain from the vote.

MacSharry informed the Taoiseach of his decision by way of a letter this afternoon.

In the letter, MacSharry said that he had sought a meeting of the parliamentary party to decide how the party would vote in the confidence motion but that this was not acceded to. 

“Sadly, as has been the practice over the course of the last year, the party voting intentions have once again been dictated by government without debate and without the input from Fianna Fail elected parliamentary party members,” he said.

This, together with the mishandling of serious issues including; leaks from Cabinet; Merrion-gate, the ongoing UN envoy debacle, inconsistencies and contradictions on Covid rule interpretation together with the irreconcilable reality that the public are expected to accept that some people are expendable and others are not.

“I cannot stand over a situation where depending on the protagonists involved different rules apply. I was elected to serve a democratic republic not one which applies different rules and sanctions depending on the identity or position of the people involved.

“All of the above compound the fact that all Fianna Fail party positioning and policy are being determined in a fashion consistent with an undemocratic totalitarian regime rather than that of a democratic socialist republican party of and for the people.”

“I therefore have no option but to resign the Fianna Fail Parliamentary Party whip effective immediately and will be voting no confidence in Minister Coveney this evening.” 

A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said this evening that “the Taoiseach regrets the resignation and wishes Marc well”.

The confidence motion in Coveney is set to be debated from 6pm this evening and will last for approximately two hours. 

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While MacSharry will be voting against Coveney, it remains likely that the government will win the vote. 

The Taoiseach and other Fianna Fáil ministers have spoken out in support of the foreign affairs minister.

Green Party TDs are also expected to support their coalition colleague in the vote. 

As well as Sinn Féin, Labour, the Social Democrats and People Before Profit will be voting against the government. 

- With reporting by Christina Finn

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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