Tuesday 16 July 2019

John Downing: 'Cynical Sinn Féin plays the 'no confidence' card yet again'

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald (Niall Carson/PA)
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald (Niall Carson/PA)
John Downing

John Downing

Belated first anniversary wishes to Mary Lou McDonald who completed 12 months as party leader, without much fanfare, on Sunday.

It has not been a great year, there has been no popularity bounce and the presidential election foray - which netted 6pc of the poll and half its last general election showing - was a huge disappointment.

So, here we go again. Move into tried-and-trusted territory and table a Dáil no-confidence motion attacking the "big wig" who is left holding the bag in the latest source of public outrage.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

Cue Sinn Féin's fifth such no-confidence vote - and the third on Ms McDonald's leadership watch. Taken at face value, few of your average citizens might argue with this one. The runaway spending on the children's hospital requires "a head" - bring on Health Minister Simon Harris.

Let's note that this has far more to do with hammering Fianna Fáil than anything else. Let's not forget last summer, when it threatened the same from June to September in the case of Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

But after weeks of shouting the odds, it acted only when Fianna Fáil finally said it would abstain, avoiding an inconvenient general election. Happily, this time Micheál Martin has made his stance clear early on, and left Ms McDonald no option but advance her bid for the competitive indignation prize.

Sinn Féin can fulminate and die for the children of Éireann safe in the knowledge that we will not have a general election weeks from the Brexit deadline. But suppose a magic genie delivered the numbers to Ms McDonald to oust the Health Minister. Would we know any more about this project debacle?

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss