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Friday 24 March 2023 Dublin: 12°C
# Round Two
Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin lose vote to become next Taoiseach
Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin are to meet behind closed doors tonight.

BOTH ENDA KENNY and Micheál Martin have both failed in their bid to be nominated as the next Taoiseach.

Martin was nominated by Fianna Fáil’s Lisa Chambers in the Dáil today but he failed to receive the majority vote, losing 43 to 95.

The acting Taoiseach, nominated by Fine Gael’s youngest TD, Noel Rock, failed to receive the majority vote, losing by 80 votes to 51.

Ruth Coppinger, the first woman to be selected for nomination for the office, was heavily defeated, losing out with 10 votes to 108.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Enda Kenny said as acting Taoiseach he remains fully committed to working to ensure the people get a government.

Enda Kenny has said he will now proceed to hold discussions with Micheál Martin.

Kenny said he has invited Martin “to have a conversation” this evening. “I expect Deputy Martin will oblige,” said Kenny.

He said he wants to be as “generous and as flexible as possible” in his talks this evening.

Taking to his feet in the Dáil, Micheál Martin said he has “no difficulty” in meeting with Enda Kenny. However, he said the first he heard of their scheduled 7pm meeting was at 7am this morning in the newspapers.

“I would respectfully suggest the briefings have to stop, the manipulation of opinion has to stop,” said Martin.


Only former Fine Gael minister Michael Lowry backed Kenny outside of the Fine Gael TDs.

The Independent Alliance and the Rural 5, as well as the non-aligned Katherine Zappone and Maureen O’Sullivan, abstained from voting for Kenny despite extensive negotiations with Fine Gael about forming a government in recent weeks.

Brothers Michael and Danny Healy-Rae voted against Kenny.

Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin also voted against Enda Kenny as the next Taoiseach.

Labour’s seven TDs abstained from the vote on Kenny, marking an end to the junior coalition partner’s alliance with Fine Gael.

joan burton

Tanaiste Joan Burton said her party was not in a position to support Enda Kenny today and she had some harsh criticisms for the Fianna Fáil party today.

“Fianna Fail, in my view, have prevaricated while they try to figure out what’s best for themselves,” said Burton.

She said Fine Fáil had presented nothing of substance apart from proposed legislation Irish Water which she called “irresponsible game playing” and an act of “national vandalism” that she had not seen since the party first abolished water rates.

Martin said Burton had reverted to the “hostility and animosity” between their two parties, adding that it “didn’t do her any justice today”.

Sinn Féin continued to call the whole process of government talks and the voting today a “charade”.

Gerry Adams said:

This vote is absolutely pointless, Enda Kenny can’t be elected, neither can Micheál Martin, neither can I, it’s a charade.


There was widespread condemnation of both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil for not going into talks earlier. Denis Naughton said it was “extremely frustrating” the two “main players” had not progressed to talks.

Meanwhile, Danny Healy-Rae made some interesting observations:

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil later denied there had been any secret talks.

Read: TDs vote to give themselves another 8 days off >

Read: Gerry Adams lashes out at “charade” of voting for a Taoiseach who can’t be elected>

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