Mary Lou McDonald calls on FF to support motion of no-confidence in Simon Harris

Health Minister Simon harris.

Brexit cannot be the "catch-all excuse" to avoid accountability and allow bad governance Mary-Lou McDonald has said in calling on Fianna Fáil to support a motion of no-confidence in Health Minister Simon Harris.

While Sinn Féin do not have allocated Dáil time to table the motion until next week, Ms McDonald said she would be contacting other groups and parties today to see if the motion can be be accommodated this week.

Mr Harris is due to make a statement in the Dáil this week clarifying a response he gave to Fianna Fáil's Barry Cowen last September in which he said the cost of the children's hospital was "in line with the expected expenditure profile".

This was after he had been informed that the overspend wa running at €191m and that contractor BAM was seeking an additional €200m.

Calling on Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin to make his position clear, Ms McDonald said an apology from Mr Harris "falls well short" of the accountability that is now needed.

"We will discharge our duties the big question is will Micheál Martin discharge his?

If Micheál Martin is serious about good governance, serious about accountability, well then he will back our motion. If he is simply a mudguard for Fine Gael, if he is simply prepared to stand by and allow and facilitate bad government and to look the other way at incompetence and bad decisions he will continue on the way he has thus far.

She dismissed the claim that the Government would fall if a motion of no-confidence in Mr Harris were to pass the Dáil.

Mary Lou McDonald.

Ms McDonald added:

"It is absolutely extraordinary that Micheál Martin the leader of Fianna Fáil would consider it to be appropriate or satisfactory that the Minister merely present himself and make an apology to the Dáil given the extent of the overrun at the children's hospital - €450m of taxpayers money.

"We believe the scale of this mismanagement, this failure of governance and incompetence at every level means that Simon Harris' position untenable.

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