TDs clash over Taoiseach nominations amid standoff in government formation talks

TDs have clashed on who should be the next Taoiseach as the Dáil debates candidates for the role and amid the ongoing standoff in the government formation talks.

TDs clash over Taoiseach nominations amid standoff in government formation talks

TDs have clashed on who should be the next Taoiseach as the Dáil debates candidates for the role and amid the ongoing standoff in the government formation talks.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald looks set to receive the most TD votes today, at least 45, but she is competing with the leaders of three other parties for the role.

Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan opened proceedings nominating Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar to be returned as Taoiseach.

He said his leader was “not afraid to take on challenges” and that he had "proved cynics wrong" by successfully leading a minority government.

Mr Varadkar had "marshalled forces" in the EU for Ireland's interests during the Brexit talks, the Dáil heard.

Mr Durkan added that Mr Varadkar had discharged his office with “distinction, courage and conviction.”

Fianna Fáil's newly elected TD Norma Foley proposed Micheál Martin as Taoiseach, laying out his work in previous ministries and the reforms he had introduced.

She said her party leader had “a lifetime distinguished by public service” and had achieved positive change.

She noted his work in supporting services for autism and special needs as well as his work in education reforming the primary school curriculum. In enterprise, as a minister, Mr Martin had also secured investment for to help employ tens of thousands of people, said Ms Foley.

He had also, while foreign minister, drawn attention to the plight of Palestinians and Gaza, added the Kerry TD.

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald with Sinn Fein TDs during the 1st meeting of the 33rd dail at Leinster House on Kildare Street,Dublin. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins
Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald with Sinn Fein TDs during the 1st meeting of the 33rd dail at Leinster House on Kildare Street,Dublin. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Nominating Mary Lou McDonald for Taoiseach. Sinn Féin deputy leader Pearse Doherty said his party had promised to “give families a break”.

“The fact is that the pro-change parties won the election,” he said.

Mr Doherty said that people wanted the biggest house building programme ever in the state, that voters wanted rents frozen, the trolley crisis sorted and progress on affordable childcare and climate change.

Newly elected Roscommon-Galway TD Claire Kerrane said her party leader had the "charisma and ability" to lead the 32 counties and was the only leader that “understood the needs of ordinary people”.

The new TD also claimed that Ms McDonald only leader who would bring about Irish unity.

A number of left-leaning TDs also indicated their support during debates in the Dáil today for Ms McDonald, including Joan Collins, Catherine Connolly as well as Thomas Pringle. Solidarity-People Before Profit TDs earlier also indicated that they would support Ms McDonald for the role of Taoiseach.

Elsewhere, Green Party TDs nominated their leader Eamon Ryan for Taoiseach.

Returned TD Joe O'Brien said Mr Ryan had proven himself by getting 12 party TDs elected and also had the biggest spirit of "collaboration in the Dáil and the ability to work with others

“Now it is up to us to look after their future,” concluded Mr O'Brien.

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