Calleary: FF will not support 'sham' motion of no confidence in Simon Harris

Fianna Fáil’s deputy leader Dara Calleary says his party will not be supporting Sinn Féin’s “sham” motion of no confidence in the Minister for Health Simon Harris in the Dáil later today.

He described the motion as “political posturing” and said it would not reduce the cost of the national children’s hospital or deliver it any sooner.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Mr Calleary said it was appropriate for the Minister to apologise to the Dáil for misleading it on the escalating cost of the hospital which he knew about since last August.

He knew Barry Cowen was pursuing the issue, but he didn’t provide the information.

Mr Calleary was commenting on a bill he has published which could give extra powers to the Comptroller and Auditor General to investigate all infrastructure projects as soon as they go over budget.

He pointed out that he first published the bill in January 2018 and will be looking to strengthen it even more now when it gets to the second stage.

If the Comptroller and Auditor General had been involved at an earlier stage in the national children’s hospital then “alarm bells would have rung sooner.”

“It’s about strengthening the office.”

Mr Calleary also welcomed the suspension of the nurses strike.

He said he did not think there would be ‘knock-on’ pay claims because the Irish Congress of Trade Unions had been “in the background” during the discussions and “knows the limitations of the Public Service Pay Agreement.”

A specific case has to be made for nurses he said as 2,000 vacancies remain unfilled and “entire classes are going to take up positions in London.”

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