Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald urges independent TDs to end support for coalition as no confidence vote looms


Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has urged the independent TDs to stop supporting the government in Dáil votes as her party considers tabling a motion of no confidence in the coalition.

The government is sure to face a motion of no confidence ahead of the Dáil break next week.

Either Sinn Féin or People Before Profit will apply during the time of their private members. Ms McDonald said her party would decide her plan before an 11am deadline on Friday morning.

Ms McDonald said: “The government has now lost its majority. We are now through two years of what I would call a disastrous government and we have gone from one failure to the next in the areas of housing and healthcare.”

The Dublin Central TD said the appetite for change that was evident in the last election has not gone away but has actually grown. She said people have run out of patience with the current government.

“You no longer have a majority. I have no doubt that they think they can keep on knowing. The sooner we have a change of government, the better. But in relation to the confidence motion itself, we are looking into this matter, we will make one final call tomorrow,” Ms McDonald said in Ringsend, south Dublin.

When asked if she had a message for independent TDs who normally support the government on Dáil votes, she replied. “Yeah, please stop, stop, stop it. This is bad government, we need solutions for the people now, we need a clearly visible change of direction.”

She was speaking at the launch of Sinn Féin’s childcare policy, which promises to reduce all parental contributions by up to two-thirds over a two-year period.

PBP TD Richard Boyd Barrett is understood to have told the Dáil business committee on Thursday that if Sinn Féin didn’t do so, his party would file a motion.

The move follows Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh’s decision to step down from his party’s stick after voting against the government on several changes to the Mica redress scheme.

A Sinn Féin source said the matter was “actively under review” but no final decision had been made before the deadline for filing an application on Friday morning.

The Dáil is due to be adjourned for the summer break after next week. Currently, Sinn Féin is planning to file an application on housing during its private members’ time in the Dáil next week – but that could change in the next 24 hours.

Mr McHugh’s decision reduces the coalition in the Dáíl to 79 out of 159 TDs, excluding Ceann Comhairle.

The majority of the three-party government has been steadily undermined over the past two years, with the six-month suspension of Green Party TDs Patrick Costello and Neasa Hourigan two months ago reducing their majority to one.

The resignation of former housing minister Eoghan Murphy from the Dáil and Marc MacSharry’s decision to leave the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party last year also reduced the majority of the coalition.

However, it continues to enjoy support from a number of independent TDs, including Michael Lowry, on Dáil votes, meaning Sinn Féin’s motion is unlikely to succeed.

A Sinn Féin spokesman said: “This is a government that has now lost its parliamentary majority and is failing to deal with the cost of living and housing crises. You no longer have a road. A motion of no confidence will be considered.” Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald urges independent TDs to end support for coalition as no confidence vote looms

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