AT LEAST two Limerick TDs are expected to support the vote of no confidence in the Government that is to be proposed by Sinn Féin on Tuesday.
Limerick City Sinn Féin Deputy Maurice Quinlivan will be joined by County Limerick Rural Independent Deputy Richard O’Donoghue who has confirmed that he will not be supporting the Government in the vote.
The Government lost its majority in the Dáil earlier this week after former Fine Gael Education Minister Joe McHugh voted against legislation to give homeowners affected by mica access to an enhanced grant scheme.
This meant that the numbers on the Government benches dropped to 79, one short of an overall majority. This prompted Sinn Féin to put the Government numbers to the test with a motion of no confidence.
The Government expects to win the vote comfortably, but TDs privately acknowledge that the loss of a majority may present significant problems after the summer recess, particularly in the context of the budget and the cost-of-living crisis.
Limerick TD Richard O’Donoghue told the Irish Times that he has “no confidence in the Government, and no confidence in leaving Eamon Ryan in charge of transport with his lack of understanding or education around how the country works and how dependent we are on fossil fuels.
“I also have massive disappointment in the Minister for Housing not taking on board any of the amendments we had recently in the housing committee,” he added.
The six-strong Rural Independent group, of which Deputy O’Donoghue is a member, said they would not support the Government, which they described as “brain dead”.
Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath, who is the leader of the group, said “the problem with this Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party Government is that they think their job is to hold the people accountable to the Government rather than the Government accountable to the people.
“Given the abysmal performance of this Government, how could any TD feel good enough, or be brainwashed enough, about this Government to vote confidence in it next week?
In fact, feeling good about this Government is like looking on the bright side of a catastrophe, but when you quit looking at things optimistically, the catastrophe is still there.”