Monday 26 August 2019

Paschal Donohoe launches defence of Tánaiste and attack on Fianna Fáil locker room

Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins
Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

FINANCE Minister Paschal Donohoe has said that “potentially historic decisions” will have to be made with regard to Brexit in the coming weeks while the Fianna Fáil locker room is focused on politics.

A highly animated Mr Donohoe launched into a defence of Frances Fitzgerald as he arrived at a scheduled event hosted by the Rehab Group in Dublin city centre this afternoon.

In a three-minute monologue, he said Ms Fitzgerald “is a politician whose career has been marked and defined by a commitment to supporting and protecting those who need support and protection”.

“I have seen her respond back to that as Minister for Children and I saw her respond back to that as Minister for Justice.”

But Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath told Independent.ie that Ms Fitgerald “has a hugely important personal decision to make”.

“If the Taoiseach isn’t going to ask her to resign, it’s a decision she’ll have to make herself and it will have national consequences.”

Mr Donohoe said the accusations that the Tánaiste was complicit in trying to undermine Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe “shows the level to which they [Fianna Fáil] are now sinking to advance their own political agenda”.

“If I hear another reference to the Fianna Fáil locker room at a time when our country is facing the kind of challenges that it is, it will only show again the motivations that are at play here,” he said.

Mr Donohoe warned that “potentially historic decisions” will have to be made in the coming weeks.

“I know the choices our country will have to make soon in terms of how we respond back to Brexit, how we approach challenges within the European Union.

“What we need now is a government that is strong, that has the support of the Dáil behind it,” he said.

Meanwhile Fianna Fáil TDs have begun sending text messages and emails to constituents to explain their side of the crisis.

A message sent by Offaly TD Barry Cowen reads: “The Tánaiste and the Government stood idly by as the character and integrity of an innocent man was undermined.

“That doesn’t sit easily with me. I don’t think the Irish people thank the likes of me for not holding that behaviour to account.

“Leo Varadkar’s judgement, experience and leadership is now on trial between now and Tuesday, when our motion will considered and voted on by the Dáil.

“It is within his gift to avoid an election. He has a choice, whether to serve himself or common decency.”

Online Editors

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