With a no-confidence motion on Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney to be discussed in the Dail today, all eyes will be on how a number of Fianna Fail TDs will vote, among them Sligo/Leitrim Deputy Marc MacSharry.
It follows a formal request by Deputy MacSharry for an urgent meeting of the parliamentary party to take place today in advance of the Dail vote.
Sligo/Leitrim TD Marc MacSharry is seeking the meeting of the Fianna Fail parliamentary party in advance of today’s discussion in the Dail of the no-confidence motion in Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney.
In a letter seeking the meeting, Deputy MacSharry says he believes it’s imperative that parliamentary party members should collectively consider and decide their approach.
Among the items Deputy MacSharry wants on the agenda for today’s meeting is the party’s voting intentions on the no-confidence motion.
The move by Deputy MacSharry follows his repeated criticism for some time now of the leadership of the Fianna Fail party under Micheal Martin.
He has also complained about what he sees as different rules for different politicians when it comes to disciplinary issues.
His request for today’s parliamentary party meeting has led to speculation about how Deputy MacSharry – and possibly other Fianna Fail TDs – will vote on today’s no-confidence motion, which has been put down by Sinn Fein.
Fianna Fail TDs who may vote in favour of the no-confidence motion face losing the party whip.
However, this would leave them outside the parliamentary party for six months and without a vote in any motion of confidence in Micheál Martin should one be called during that time.
Meanwhile, the government parties – Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Green Party — are all expected to support Minister Coveney by voting against the Sinn Fein motion.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned Fianna Fáil TDs will face a six month suspension from the party if they fail to back Coveney.