A Fine Gael plan to put pressure on government backbenchers over health cuts didn't come off last night.
The Government defeated a Fine Gael motion seeking no cuts to frontline services by 77 votes to 73.
There were suggestions a former Fianna Fail TD would vote against the coalition. But independent Fianna Fail TD Jimmy Devins, who resigned the party whip over the withdrawal of breast cancer services in Sligo, voted with the Government, along with colleague Eamon Scanlon.
Independent TD Michael Lowry also supported the Government, despite claiming he will vote against any adverse plans for Clonmel General Hospital.
Fine Gael attempted to put pressure on a range of coalition TDs by calling on the Government to suspend the loss of frontline health services across the country.