TDs will vote on a motion of no confidence in Leo Varadkar this evening at the Convention Centre following a two-hour debate.
Sinn Féin tabled the no confidence motion after accusing Micheál Martin of “sitting on his hands” in the aftermath of the controversy surrounding last Saturday’s Village magazine article.
The article revealed that Varadkar posted a confidential document to his friend Dr O Tuathail in April 2019 when he was Taoiseach.
A number of opposition parties have said they will vote for the motion, but the three coalition parties have presented a united front on the matter.
Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell said that Sinn Féin did not take the decision lightly, but that this latest government controversy is ‘different’.
“This government has only been in office for just four months and over that time we had the basis of taking many motions of no-confidence due to gross incompetence and bad decision making,” said Deputy Farrell.
“We choose not to do so because of the challenges facing the country.”
But Deputy Farrell said that this time it is different as it is “more of the old Fine Gael behaviour where it is about who you know and insiders getting access to the corridors of power”.
“It comes after Michael D’Arcy has moved on from his role as Minister of State to the world of high finance in the same way Brian Hayes moved from politics to the banking sector; where he is now their chief lobbyist.
“All of this further undermines the public’s confidence in politics and is totally unacceptable to us. The election in February was about change, about new politics and that is what we intend to deliver.”
Minister Simon Coveney has said however that the motion was an attempt to keep the issue in the news, to try to create division within Government – particularly within Fianna Fáil.
Coveney said he spoke to Leo Varadkar ‘in some detail’ about this issue, and he believes his version of events ‘absolutely’.