Will there be a General Election in Ireland before Christmas?
The country is on the verge of a General Election after Fianna Fáil tabled a no confidence in Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald.
This motion breaks the confidence and supply agreement with the Government.
Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald is under intense pressure from the opposition to step down, but Fine Gael are backing her strongly.
The reason the government could be brought down is tied up with the ongoing controversy around how gardaí treated whistleblower Maurice McCabe.
The O’Higgins Commission examined claims made about garda misconduct, and found serious flaws and failures in a number of investigations in the Cavan-Monaghan area between 2007 and 2008.
Maurice McCabe was one of the gardaí who highlighted these issues. A legal strategy adopted by Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan’s team in 2015 was to challenge his credibility at the O’Higgins Commission.
Documents uncovered by RTÉ’s Prime Time back in 2016 showed that Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan’s senior legal told Justice Kevin O’Higgins that he had “instructions from the commissioner” to “challenge the integrity… of Sergeant McCabe”.
So, the reason that Fitzgerald is under such pressure now is because an email was sent to her back in May 2015 around this legal strategy.
The email concerns a row between McCabe’s and O’Sullivan’s legal teams and mentions an allegation that “a serious criminal complaint against Maurice McCabe – which he had always denied – had not been properly investigated by the Garda Siochána”.
The fact that she was sent the email would suggest that Fitzgerald knew about these legal efforts to discredit McCabe. All of this snowballed into a huge scandal for the government in recent weeks.
So – what now – it looks like we could be heading for a Christmas time general election which is – let’s be honest – a shambles.
Taoiseach Leo Vardkar will essentially have to go to the Aras today. The president can reject and tell the Government to talk again but it is unlikely that will happen.
We will be a laughing stock in Europe with no Government as Brexit talks are supposed to move to the next stage.
The referendums coming up will have to be looked at again because the Government could collapse.
An Post have said that they would not be in a position to get polling cards out to people before Christmas.
At this time of the year it really is not what we want to be hearing from the Government.
Michael Martin said in an interview today that Fianna Fail will not be going into Government with Sinn Fein after this General Election.
Today I want to get your reaction to this shocking news of a snap general election….