Taoiseach has spectacularly failed his first real test of leadership – McDonald

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has said the debacle that has led to the resignation of Frances Fitzgerald TD has highlighted the poor judgement of the Taoiseach and she added that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has failed the first real test of his leadership in spectacular fashion.

Teachta McDonald said;

“This debacle which has led to the resignation of Deputy Fitzgerald has highlighted the extremely poor judgement of the Taoiseach.

“Sinn Féin’s focus has been to hold the Government to account for failing to challenge those powerful agencies orchestrating a smearing campaign against Maurice McCabe.

“That is why we moved a motion of no confidence in the Tánaiste as her position was clearly untenable.

“At the centre of this shambles is the Taoiseach’s demonstrated incompetence and his resistance to accountability on matters of utmost importance.

“His calamitous handling of this issue turned a scandal into a political crisis.

“Fianna Fáil belatedly moved a motion of no confidence in the Tánaiste only after Sinn Féin took the lead.

“The Taoiseach failed to show any leadership and refused to hold the Tánaiste to account.

“He repeatedly misled the Dáil, and supported a Minister who clearly failed in her duties. He stood by those who turned a blind eye to the smearing of Garda McCabe when he should have held them to account.

“He put the interests of Fine Gael party before all else.

“There are clearly many more questions to be answered including the role of current Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, the office of the Attorney general, the withholding of information from the Charleton Tribunal and the collaboration between Department of Justice and the Gardaí to smear Sergeant McCabe.

“While Sinn Féin sought to hold former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to account, both Fianna Fáil and the government offered her unquestioning confidence.

“This was the first real test of the Taoiseach’s leadership. He failed that test.”