Minister Simon Coveney survives no confidence motion after tense debate in Dail

By David Kent

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney has survived a motion of no confidence brought against him by 92 votes to 59.

It came after a fractious few hours which saw a member of Fianna Fáil resign before a fierce debate in the Dáil.

In a letter to the Taoiseach, seen by the Irish Mirror, TD MacSharry said: “All Fianna Fáil party positioning and policy are being determined in a fashion consistent with an undemocratic totalitarian regime rather than that of a democratic socialist republican party of and for the people.”

In the letter, MacSharry also made reference to the leaking of information from parliamentary party meetings and the Merrion-gate scandal involving Katherine Zappone, Mr Coveney and Leo Varadkar.

During his contribution in the Dáil on Wednesday, Sinn Fein TD Matt Carthy said for weeks ministers “couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about,” over the Katherine Zappone controversy.

Simon Coveney (Colin Keegan/ Collins)

He said: “The Taoiseach will remember, on day one, he told us to move on.

“Minister Coveney went on radio and arrogantly told the media not to create new stories.

“Rather than dealing with the debacle, Fine Gael were running a sting operation to expose that Simon Harris had leaked the appointment from the Cabinet meeting.

“Because, that is how business is done.”

However the Minister for Higher Education has rejected Mr Carthy's claim.

A spokeswoman for Minister Harris said: "This was a clear misuse of Dail privilege and it is untrue."

The controversy arose after it emerged the Taoiseach was “blindsided” that a memo went to Cabinet about Ms Zappone taking up the new role.


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