That was some weekend wasn’t it? I have never in my life experienced a weekend in which so much has happened politically. We entered the weekend with Brian Cowen as leader of Fianna Fáil and we finished it with him as a caretaker Taoiseach.
His resignation as leader of Fianna Fáil was not that surprising considering the amount or pressure on him from all parts of the Fianna Fáil part and the failure of stalwarts like Eamonn O’Cuiv to back him. He knew his time was up. He had to go, but hes staying as Taoiseach.
We now face the possibility this week that the leader of Fianna Fail might not be in Government going into the election. That is if Michéal Martin wins the vote on Wednesday, which he is expected to do. But I wouldn’t trust those Fianna Fáilers and the result could surprise us.
After all the drama on Saturday, the Greens went into crisis mode. They held a meeting on Sunday and at press conference yesterday, they announced they had “lost patience” with their Government partners and were pulling out of Government. This means we are left with 7 ministers. The minimum number allowed by the constitution.
The Cabinet now looks like this:
- Taoiseach and Foreign Affairs: Brian Cowen
- Finance: Brian Lenihan
- Tánasite, Education, Skill, Health and Children: Mary Coughlan
- Community, Equality, Gaeltacht Affairs, Transport, Environment, Heritage and Local Government: Pat Carey
- Agriculture, Fisheries, Food, Justice and Law Reform: Brendan Smith
- Tourism, Culture, Sport, Enterprise, Trade and Innovation: Mary Hanafin
- Social Protection, Defence, Communication and Natural Resources: Eamonn O’Cuiv
The election date is obviously going to change with this and a date that seems to be appearing is Friday 25th of February. That is of course if they can pass the Finance Bill and stave off the vote of confidence.
Tonight’s meeting on the Finance Bill between Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour and the Greens will be an interesting one. It will be the one that decides whether or not we will have a Finance Bill going into the election. Its going to be an interesting week.
- Greens Walk (irishexaminer.com)
- Irish Government plunged into chaos as Green Party pulls out of coalition (dailymail.co.uk)