Galway-Roscommon TD Denis Naughten has stepped down from his position as Minister for Communications, Climate Action, and the Environment.
He announced his resignation this afternoon in the Dáil, saying the Taoiseach told him he doesn’t have his confidence.
This comes after recent controversy surrounding the appointment of a contractor for the National Broadband Plan.
Deputy Naughten denied that there has been any inappropriate action on his part surrounding the appointment of a contractor to bring broadband to rural Ireland.
David McCourt, the chairman of Granahan Court is the only bidder left in the running to implement the National Broadband Plan
The Minister met with Mr McCourt on multiple occasions and on one instance paid for him to have lunch at Leinster House.
However the Minister did not attend that lunch or speak with Mr McCourt on that day.
Speaking in the Dáil, the Minister denied that the procurement process had been affected in any way by his meetings with Mr McCourt.
He said that this was “more about optics than fibre optics”.
The Independent TD left the chamber immediately after making his speech.
On Wednesday, and again this morning, Leo Varadkar denied that it was inappropriate for Denis Naughten to meet with Mr McCourt, or conferred an advantage to him.
The Taoiseach said that he does accept that optics and perception are important considerations in politics.
The Dáil is still in session discussing Deputy Naughten’s resignation this afternoon.