Opposition call for immediate general election
Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore today called on Taoiseach Brian Cowen to dissolve the Dail after the Greens called for a general election.
Mr Gilmore said the electorate should be able to vote in a new government as early as next month so it can begin leading the country to economic recovery.
He claimed the Greens, the junior coalition party, had finally recognised the Government was past its sell-by date.
"Fianna Fail has made a mess of the country; they have crippled the economy and and brought national morale to an unprecedented low," said Mr Gilmore.
"After 13 years of bad government and weeks of lying to the Irish people, the unprecedented decision taken on Sunday effectively represents the handing over of the deeds of the country to the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
"It is essential that we have a new government elected as soon as possible."
The Government was thrown into crisis after Environment Minister and Green Party leader, John Gormley, said he wanted a date for a general election to be set in January.
The dramatic call came less than 24 hours after Cabinet ministers agreed to ask the IMF and Europe for a multibillion bailout.
Sinn Fein Dail leader Caoimhghin O Caolain accused the Greens of cutting and running while denying the people an immediate general election.
"It is absolutely shameful that this party is denying the people an immediate general election and helping Fianna Fail to inflict further massive damage on the Irish economy and Irish society," said Mr O Caolain
"The Green Party has played a disgraceful role in one of the worst cabinets that has ever governed in any country.
"We now have the unprecedented situation where a coalition partner has announced it is to pull out of a Government while at the same time preparing to help frame and vote for its Budget."