Republic of Ireland news

Fianna Fáil: Tánaiste 'should go' over McCabe email

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald is coming under increasing pressure to resign over a whistleblower scandal

THE Republic could be heading for a Christmas election after Fianna Fáil said it would not support a confidence motion in Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald.

Ms Fitzgerald is coming under mounting pressure amid a growing scandal around the handling of Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Sinn Féin had lodged a no confidence motion in Ms Fitzgerald, to be discussed on Wednesday, amid claims she was aware of a campaign to discredit Sgt McCabe at the O'Higgins commission, which examined claims of Garda malpractice.

She has been under pressure over her account of an email she received in relation to the legal strategy of the former Garda Commissioner in the case.

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O'Callaghan said yesterday his party would not support any confidence motion in the minister and added she "should go".

Mr O'Callaghan said he does not want a general election but if one is called, "so be it".

As part of the minority Fine Gael government's confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fáil, Micheál Martin's party must support ministers or abstain from the vote in the event of a motion of confidence.

Mr O'Callaghan said the row had undermined the agreement and his party may table its own no confidence motion today.

It is likely the Tánaiste may be forced to resign rather than trigger a general election.

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