Friday 28 July 2017

Enda Kenny should resign immediately - Fine Gael councillor calls on Taoiseach to go

Taoiseach Enda Kenny Picture: Clodagh Kilcoyne
Taoiseach Enda Kenny Picture: Clodagh Kilcoyne
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A Fine Gael councillor has called for Enda Kenny to resign as Taoiseach immediately, tipping Richard Bruton or Leo Varadkar as his replacement.

In a heated exchange on RTÉ Radio 1's Liveline, councillors debated whether or not the Taoiseach should step down in light of the Maurice McCabe saga.

Cllr Brian Murphy from Dun-Laoghaire Rathdown launched a scathing attack on the Taoiseach, claiming Fine Gael "are constantly running to Fianna Fáil for approval."

"I don't like that at all, this sort of idea that really Fianna Fáil are in charge. The country was in a really tough state in 2011-2012 and we pulled them out of a crisis.

"The fact we are now going running to Fianna Fail for approval for everything is embarrassing," he added, when asked about the Taoiseach's comments that he would meet Michael Martin today.

Defending her party leader, Cllr Patricia Stewart, also from Mr Murphy's constituency, claimed Mr Kenny "will go down as one of the best Taoiseach’s we’ve ever had."

"I would like the public to know he [Brian Murphy] doesn’t speak for everyone in Fine Gael and he certainly doesn't speak for me. Enda is one of the least narcissistic people I've ever met," she added.

Mr Murphy retorted that he did not like how he has handled the controversy surrounding garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

He also hit out at Fine Gael's campaign for last year's General Election.

"The election in the last year was a disaster. It was a total nightmare but all the people who were part of that disaster for Fine Gael are in the same positions. The party is stagnating from the top down," he said.

"My ideal replacement would be Richard Bruton but I don’t think Richard is going to run, so I would go for Leo."

Another councillor jumped to the Taoiseach's defence, saying "he doesn't know how Enda Kenny is still going," telling Cllr Murphy to "stand by his man."

A poll conducted by Liveline also saw 54pc of listeners stating Enda Kenny should resign.

The debate follows the announcement by the Taoiseach this morning that he intends to set up a public inquiry into the alleged smear campaign against Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

At a meeting with Micheál Martin, the Fine Gael leader said he would discuss the potential terms of reference with the Cabinet today.

Independents 4 Change politician Clare Daly said it is "utterly ludicrous" that Taoiseach and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald "didn't understand what they were being told" about the Children's Minister Katherine Zappone's meeting with the garda whistleblower.

She also said she believes a public inquiry is due into the alleged treatment of garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

It follows Minister Katherine Zappone revealing she told the Taoiseach about the bogus Tusla file on Sgt Maurice McCabe before last week's Cabinet meeting.

Ms Zappone has been in the firing line since Friday when it emerged she failed to brief her Cabinet colleagues on the dossier which contained a false allegation that Mr McCabe had molested a child.

However, after flying back from the United States yesterday she firmly dragged the Taoiseach into the frame by revealing she alerted him that she met Mr McCabe to discuss Tusla.

Responding to Ms Zappone's statement, a spokesman for Mr Kenny said the minister was correct not to divulge details of the Tusla report - but failed to address the fact the Taoiseach did not reveal his knowledge of the Tusla link before now.

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