Saturday 17 March 2018

Stroke politics: Micheál's threat to pull plug on Leo

Appointment 'breaks agreement'

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin Photo: Tony Gavin
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin Photo: Tony Gavin

Niall O'Connor and Shane Phelan

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is threatening to pull the plug on Leo Varadkar's Government over a judicial appointment that has been likened to "stroke politics".

The lead Opposition party believes the appointment of former attorney general Máire Whelan to the Court of Appeal "stinks to the high heavens" and represents a clear breach of the arrangement it struck with Fine Gael.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has been dragged into the heart of the controversy after it emerged she was aware that three other judges had applied for the prestigious post.

Independent Alliance Minister Shane Ross last night sought a review of the appointment - despite him being present at the Cabinet meeting at which it was agreed.

Mr Varadkar defended the move, insisting that Ms Whelan was highly suitable to the role.

While there is consensus that Ms Whelan's appointment was completely legal, even senior Fine Gael figures admitted it has damaged the Government.

And the new Taoiseach was dealt another blow after it emerged Fianna Fáil will block legislation required to appoint Mary Mitchell O'Connor to a super junior ministerial role.

Irish Independent

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