Sunday 25 February 2018

Fennelly report: Taoiseach and Attorney General facing no confidence votes

Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Taoiseach, Enda Kenny

Niall O’Connor

BOTH Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Attorney General Máire Whelan are facing votes of no confidence following the publication of the Fennelly report.

Major questions have been raised about the handling by both senior Government figures of the garda tapes controversy and the events that led to the departure of Martin Callinan.

Mr Kenny has been called on to resign after Mr Justice Nial Fennelly found that his decision to dispatch the General Secretary of the Department of Justice Brian Purcell to Mr Callinan’s home was the “immediate catalyst” for his decision to retire.

Mr Fennelly also criticised the Attorney General, who is a Labour Party appointee.

She did not contact the then justice minister Alan Shatter over the emergence of the garda tapes partly because of remarks he had made in the public domain about garda whistleblowers.

It also emerged that Ms Whelan changed her stance on the seriousness of the garda tapes issue in later evidence.

Earlier today, it emerged that the Opposition will table motions of no confidence in both Mr Kenny and Ms Whelan. The decision to table a motion of no confidence in Ms Whelan was tabled by Sinn Féin – however senior Coalition figures have raised doubt over whether it is within the remit of the Dáil to debate such a motion.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the Taoiseach should facilitate such a debate.

"If he is, as he claims, absolutely confident that he is vindicated in this report well then he should demonstrate that confidence by re-calling the Dáil, considering our motion and allowing TD's, the elected representatives of the people, to debate and to examine all the details of that report," she added.

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