Saturday 17 August 2019

'We all need to cop onto ourselves' - Regina Doherty says the country doesn't deserve an election

No quick fix: Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty. Photo: Tom Burke
No quick fix: Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty. Photo: Tom Burke
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has said the country doesn’t deserve or need an election.

And she has backed Frances Fitzgerald, claiming she has been told by a senior Fianna Fáil politician that the controversy was no longer about her.

"I haven’t met anybody who wants an election," she said.

“There’s nobody in their right mind in this country who would think the people of this country want an election or deserve an election.

“We all need to cop onto ourselves and get around the table and sort out this mess once and for all. Everything can be resolved through mediation... Frances Fitzgerald has done nothing wrong."

Her comments follow the tabling of a motion of no confidence by Fianna Fáil, meaning an election looks inevitable unless the Tánaiste steps aside.

“I believe the charges that have been made against her by Fianna Fáil and Sinn Fein, they’re trumped up. Actually this is more about Sinn Fein and Fianna Fáil than it is about Frances Fitzgerald.

“A senior Fianna Fáil politician told me this week it stopped being about Frances Fitzgerald last week. The country does not deserve an election. We do not need one, so let’s make sure we don’t have one.”

Fianna Fáil claimed the motion loged this morning is over concerns about the way Ms Fitzgerald handled the whistleblower controversy during her time as Justice Minister, in particular her lack of response to an email outlining clashes between legal teams for An Garda Síochána and whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe in 2015.

It reads: "Dáil Éireann no longer has confidence in the Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald TD."

Mr Martin said "the whole situation is unsatisfactory" and said "there has been a breakdown of trust" between the various parties.

Speaking on RTÉ’s 'Today with Séan O’Rourke', Mr Martin said he had initiated contact with Mr Varadkar this week but he did not respond in a satisfactory manner.

He said his party is preparing for an immediate election before Christmas, adding that he does not have confidence in Ms Fitzgerald.

“Do you not think there is something fundamentally wrong with the inability to tell a story straight?”

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