Ireland Varadkar ‘doing everything’ to avoid snap election amid whistleblower row

08:20  28 november  2017
08:20  28 november  2017 Source:   Press Association

Sinn Féin lodges motion of 'no confidence' in Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald

  Sinn Féin lodges motion of 'no confidence' in Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald TÁNAISTE Frances Fitzgerald is facing a motion of no confidence after Sinn Féin claimed it is now "abundantly clear" she needs to be forced from office. The minister put up a robust defence of her time in the Department of Justice today, saying: "I am not trying to hide anything. I was not part of any conspiracy to malign Maurice McCabe, quiet the contrary."But Sinn Féin have pushed a no confidence vote in a move in that is likely to force Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to cancel a trip to visit troops in Mali next week.

Ireland’s Taoiseach has said he is doing everything he can to avoid a snap Christmas election amid a political row over the treatment of the whistleblower . Leo Varadkar was expected to hold the latest round of talks on Monday evening with Micheal Martin, leader of the main opposition party

Ireland’s Taoiseach has said he is doing everything he can to avoid a snap Christmas election amid a political row over the treatment of the whistleblower . Leo Varadkar was expected to hold the latest round of talks on Monday evening with Micheal Martin, leader of the main opposition party

Frances Fitzgerald: The future of Frances Fitzgerald's ministerial career hangs in the balance (Brian Lawless/PA) © Provided by The Press Association The future of Frances Fitzgerald's ministerial career hangs in the balance (Brian Lawless/PA) Ireland’s former justice minister Frances Fitzgerald was emailed about an “aggressive stance” towards a police whistleblower at the centre of the Irish Government crisis, records revealed.

She received lines to take in public on Sergeant Maurice McCabe, who was taking part in a judicial investigation into policing in the Irish midlands.

The future of Ms Fitzgerald’s ministerial career hangs in the balance as critics are pressing for her resignation over her handling of the 2015 email that revealed attempts to discredit the Garda whistleblower.

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Ireland’s Taoiseach has said he is doing everything he can to avoid a snap Christmas election amid a political row over the treatment of the whistleblower . Leo Varadkar was expected to hold the latest round of talks on Monday evening with Micheal Martin, leader of the main opposition party

Ireland’s Taoiseach has said he is doing everything he can to avoid a snap Christmas election amid a political row over the treatment of the whistleblower . Leo Varadkar was expected to hold the latest round of talks on Monday evening with Micheal Martin, leader of the main opposition party

Maurice McCabe © Provided by The Press Association Maurice McCabe She has said she cannot recall the contents of the message.

A 2015 email from one of Ms Fitzgerald’s officials said: “The Garda Commissioner phoned me to let me know they had received queries from Colm O’Mongain about Sgt McCabe.

“They were asked was it the case that Sgt McCabe was looking to be taken out of the traffic unit in Mullingar and was it the Garda Commissioner who had instructed counsel to adopt an aggressive stance towards Sgt McCabe at the O’Higgins Commission. “The Gardai are not commenting.”

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Ireland’s Taoiseach has said he is doing everything he can to avoid a snap Christmas election amid a political row over the treatment of the whistleblower . Leo Varadkar was expected to hold the latest round of talks on Monday evening with Micheal Martin, leader of the main opposition party

Ireland’s Taoiseach has said he is doing everything he can to avoid a snap Christmas election amid a political row over the treatment of the whistleblower . Leo Varadkar was expected to hold the latest round of talks on Monday evening with Micheal Martin

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar arrives for an EU social summit for fair jobs and growth in Gothenburg Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. (Jonas Ekstromer/TT News Agency via AP) © The Associated Press Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar arrives for an EU social summit for fair jobs and growth in Gothenburg Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. (Jonas Ekstromer/TT News Agency via AP) Ireland’s Taoiseach has said he is doing everything he can to avoid a snap Christmas election amid a political row over the treatment of the whistleblower.

Leo Varadkar was expected to hold the latest round of talks on Monday evening with Micheal Martin, leader of the main opposition party Fianna Fail which is propping him up on key votes, as he attempts to save his minority Government from a vote of no confidence on Tuesday.

According to emails released by the justice department on Monday night, an official emailed then Ms Fitzgerald on lines to take if Sgt Maurice McCabe was raised with her.

'We all need to cop onto ourselves' - Regina Doherty says the country doesn't deserve an election

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Ireland’s Taoiseach has said he is doing everything he can to avoid a snap Christmas election amid a political row over the treatment of the whistleblower . Leo Varadkar was expected to hold the latest round of talks on Monday evening with Micheal Martin, leader of the main opposition party

He added: “All remain keen to avoid an election in the interest of the country.” Earlier Mr Varadkar again stressed his support for Ms Fitzgerald, who is under renewed pressure to resign over her handling of a police whistleblower scandal. “We are doing everything we can.”

This followed queries from the RTE journalist Mr O’Mongain.

The official continued: “I understand that some weeks ago Sgt McCabe indicated to his authorities in Mullingar that he no longer wanted to stay in his post in the traffic unit.

“Apparently he blamed the Commissioner for this though he said he could not be more specific as he was bound by confidentiality.”

This coincided with hearings at the O’Higgins Commission which investigated policing in the Irish midlands.

The email added: “Sgt McCabe remains in his post at the Traffic Unit, though in practice his time recently has been taken up giving evidence to the Commission.”

A department of justice civil servant wrote that the minister had “noted” an email surrounding the matter which has already been released by the Tanaiste.

Fianna Fail, which has been supporting the minority Fine Gael led government, has demanded the resignation of deputy premier Ms Fitzgerald over the affair.

Last-ditch negotiations, which could see a radical overhaul of justice affairs, are said to have been constructive.

“We are trying to find a middle way that allows the Government to continue and continue with the important work we are doing, particularly with Brexit and ensuring that we have necessary legislation through,” the Taoiseach said. “We are doing everything we can.”

New Minister Madigan insists she is 'absolutely not anti-Traveller' and that 2014 newsletter contents were 'widely misrepresented' .
Last Monday, Josepha Madigan was “in a panic” getting photographs taken for election posters and buying thermals for the campaign ahead as the country seemed on the brink of going to the polls. By Thursday, she was in Aras an Uachtarain accepting her seal of office as the newly minted Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.“Surreal” is how the Fine Gael TD for Dublin-Rathdown describes the week that saw the resignation of Frances Fitzgerald as Tanaiste, and her own elevation from the backbenches to the top table of government by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

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