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Mary Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty at a press briefing today Sam Boal/

Sinn Féin considering motion of no confidence in government

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that he welcomes the opportunity to prove the Government has a working majority.

LAST UPDATE | 7 Jul 2022

SINN FÉIN IS considering tabling a motion of no confidence in the government, following its loss of a Dáil majority.

The party’s president Mary Lou McDonald told reporters today that a decision would be made tomorrow on whether to submit the motion.

McDonald said: “We’ve had two years now of what I would describe as disastrous government in the areas of housing, in healthcare. We have moved from fiasco to the next.”

The government lost its Dáil majority last night after Donegal TD Joe McHugh resigned the Fine Gael whip. He had voted against the government’s bill on a mica redress scheme.

“The appetite for change that was evident in the last general election has not gone away … people are running out of patience, if they had any to begin with.”

The deadline to submit such a motion for next week is 11am tomorrow.

McDonald said the only opportunity for change was a general election. She said Sinn Féin “would not make the same mistake again” of running too few candidates.

When asked if she had a message for independent TDs who would support the government, she said: “Yes – please stop.”

When asked this afternoon about the planned no-confidence motion, the Taoiseach said that the Government “welcome the opportunity” to prove it has a working majority.

“We have a good working majority. We welcome the opportunity that will present to us to outline the fact that this has been a competent and good government,” said Micheál Martin.

He said that it was not an unexpected move from Sinn Féin, adding that opposition parties from time to time put down no-confidence motions in the last week of the parliamentary term.

He defended the Government’s record on issues like the response to Covid-19, climate change and housing.

“We have a lot to say in terms of policy: education, health and of course housing, where the Housing for All represents the most comprehensive suite of policies that have been advanced by any political party in the country,” said Martin.

He said that he was “not at all” worried about entering an election with his party and reiterated that he intends to lead Fianna Fáil into the next general election.

unnamed (1) Joe McHugh

McHugh told Raidió na Gaeltachta this morning that his priority was the people affected by the mica scandal.

Many of the homes affected by faulty mica blocks are in McHugh’s constituency.

He said he stood over the decision, because he had issues with the proposed redress scheme which could not be addressed before the Dáil rises for the summer recess.

The government has insisted it still has a working majority following McHugh’s resignation of the whip.

Green Party Minister Roderic O’Gorman downplayed the effects of the development this morning, saying he believes the party will still be able to implement its agenda.

Also speaking on RTÉ radio today, O’Gorman, the Minister for Children, pointed out that all votes in the Dáil passed last night, “despite the regrettable loss of Joe McHugh”.

“His concern was with that one piece of legislation.”

McHugh said in May that he would not be contesting the next general election.

O’Gorman said that Neasa Hourigan and Patrick Costello, two Green TDs who are suspended from the party until November, have “indicated that they wish to continue to support the government”.

“So I think we’ll continue to implement the Green Party’s agenda in terms of climate, in terms of transport [and] with the wider government as well in terms of housing and childcare.”

Additional reporting by Tadgh McNally

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