Fianna Fáil mulls ‘no confidence’ motion in Frances Fitzgerald

Fianna Fáil TDs have discussed tabling a motion of no confidence in Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald due to her refusal to sack Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.

The move was raised last night after justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan admitted his confidence in Ms Fitzgerald is “declining”. She is due to attend a Dáil debate on the issue today.

Despite calls to remove Ms O’Sullivan over the Garda college finances controversy, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Housing Minister Simon Coveney, Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar, and Ms Fitzgerald continued to back her yesterday.

While Fianna Fáil remains clear that only the Government, and not the Dáil, can remove Ms O’Sullivan, it last night discussed tabling a motion of no confidence in Ms Fitzgerald as she is answerable to the Dáil.

At its weekly parliamentary party meeting, Mr O’Callaghan rejected suggestions from backbench TD John McGuinness that Fianna Fáil must act to force the Government to remove Ms O’Sullivan, but admitted his confidence in Ms Fitzgerald is “declining”.

Although party leader Micheál Martin downplayed the possibility of a no-confidence motion at this stage, he has requested that Ms Fitzgerald attend the Dáil debate on her handling of the Garda controversies today, during which Fianna Fáil is expected to again urge her to remove Ms O’Sullivan.

While such a no-confidence motion in Ms Fitzgerald would risk destabilising the Coalition’s deal with Fianna Fáil , a number of Fianna Fáil TDs said it should be considered, with one frontbencher saying it is “the next logical step” to force the Government to act.

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