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Power-hungry parties serve only themselves, not the people



Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

There is a seasonal end-of-term giddiness about Leinster House. The summer recess is looming and the fact the Government has lost its majority is adding to the sense of unsteadiness. That billions of euro are being brandished by the coalition – and billions more are being pledged by the opposition – further fuels the feeling of midsummer madness.

Throw in a vote of no-confidence – as Sinn Féin has done – for next week and you get to wondering: What could possibly go wrong?

The main opposition party is merely looking after its interests. If the coalition cannot keep its numbers straight and its members happy, why should the opposition lose any sleep?

It is as if the febrile atmosphere from across the pond, due to the removal from office of Boris Johnson, is beginning to affect the body politic here.

All sense of proportion has not quite been lost, but the grip on reality has loosened.

Joe McHugh’s defection means the number of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Green Party TDs no longer forms a majority in the Dáil. This is a point of fact, and it means the tightrope on which the coalition is balanced is fraying.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald sees the weakness. She said the coalition was “out of road” and the “case for, and the need for a change in government is unanswerable”. She is not without some solid grounds for criticism.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney believes the Government will defeat the Sinn Féin no-confidence vote. He hit back by claiming: “They will want to be as disruptive as possible.”

However, oppositions will always attempt to gain power, just as governments will always fight to hold on to it. Both would do well to remember they are there primarily to serve voters.

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