O’Dea confirms resignation

Willie O'Dea is no longer a member of the Cabinet.

His resignation as Defence Minister has been announced in the past few minutes.

It comes after days of pressure over his false statement in a court case and false allegations against Sinn Féin Councillor, Maurice Quinlivan.

John Gormley, leader of the Green Party, said the controversy would be a distraction if Mr O’Dea stayed in the Cabinet.

Mr Gormley claimed he had been led to believe that full details of the interview Mr O’Dea gave would vindicate him.

He added: “In fact it does the opposite.”

In a hard-hitting statement, the Environment Minister also criticised Mr O’Dea’s attempt to defend the comments both in the Dáil (Irish Parliament) and in the media.

“At the very conclusion of yesterday’s Dáil debate, Mr O’Dea said his original actions in the matter were based on information given to him by An Garda Siochana,” Mr Gormley said.

“We were very concerned by this behaviour by a member of Government.

“We have also taken the view that Willie O’Dea’s comments and conduct during yesterday’s debate and in subsequent media appearances were inappropriate.

“All these factors have led us to conclude that Willie O’Dea could not continue as a member of this Government.

“The issue has already taken up too much energy and attention at a time when crucial economic challenges face the Irish people.

“We are committed to continuing to work with our partners in Government to face those challenges.”

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