Fitzgerald to resign – local politicians react positively

Frances Fitzgerald will resign as Tánaiste in the Dáil this afternoon.

She will resign instead of facing a vote of no confidence in the chamber this evening.

Her handling of the Maurice McCabe controversy led to this resignation.

Frances Fitzgerald told cabinet she felt she’d be vindicated by the Disclosures Tribunal – and that she was resigning in the national interest.

But Leo Varadkar still faces the ghosts of Christmas present.

The mood in Fine Gael is low after backing Frances Fitzgerald all the way until now.

There’s also questions coming about other ministers.

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy calling for answers in the Dáil from Charlie Flanagan, the current Justice Minister, about what exactly he knew about this legal strategy.

The Department of Justice themselves have questions to answer about why some of these documents weren’t given to the Charleton Tribunal

And there’s the ghost of Christmas future – an election that now looks likely to happen sooner rather than later, with some TDs saying the government won’t last beyond April at best

So while Frances Fitzgerald has decided to step down and an election has been averted, there’s still some sleepless winter nights ahead for Leo Varadkar.

Locally today politicians have been reacting to the news.

Leitrim Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan says the Tánaiste has made the right decision:

Fianna Fail TD in Sligo Leitrim Marc MacSharry says it’s welcome that an election has been averted for now and that the work in local constituencies can resume.

However, he says the implications of what happened are serious: