A Donegal Sinn Fein TD has denied his party’s Dail motion of no-confidence in Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney is a publicity stunt:
Although Minister Coveney is expected to survive the vote, much attention is expected to focus on the moves of Sligo/Leitrim Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry, who has been staunch critic of his party’s leadership
Simon Coveney’s government coalition colleagues in Fianna Fail and the Green Party have indicated they’ll be backing him this evening.
There has been criticism of Sinn Fein for putting down the motion, with the move having been dismissed by opponents as a publicity stunt.
But Donegal Sinn Fein Deputy Pearse Doherty disagrees, saying the government has been ‘caught out.’
The no-confidence vote will take place this evening
However, Deputy MacSharry has formally requested that a meeting of the Fianna Fail parliamentary
party take place before the vote.
He says he believes it’s imperative parliamentary party members should collectively consider and decide their approach..
But whether a collective approach can be agreed among the parliamentary party members remains to be seen.
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 how disciplinary matters are dealt with, with the case of former EU Commissioner Phil Hogan being one example.
Deputy MacSharry’s request for today’s parliamentary party meeting has led to speculation about how
he will vote this evening.
Fianna Fail TDs who vote in favour of the Sinn Fein no-confidence motion face losing the party
This could be a consideration for so-called rebel TDs as it would leave them outside the parliamentary party for six months and without a vote in any motion of confidence in Micheál Martin if one were called during that time.
Meanwhile, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar is confident the Sinn Fein motion will be defeated.
Today’s vote is taking place on what is TDs’ first day in the Dail after the summer recess.
It’s also sees TDs returning to Leinster House from the National Convention centre, where they had been sitting to enable them social distance during the Covid pandemic.