The country is on the verge of a snap election after Fianna Fail threatened to pull down the coalition government over the Garda whistleblower scandal.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar faces the prospect of going to the polls next month in the middle of a crucial summit on the EU, Britain and Brexit in which the stakes are high for the country.
Fianna Fáil will this morning lodge a motion of no confidence in Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, for debate on Tuesday, over concerns about the way she handled the whistleblower controversy as Minister for Justice.
The focus is on an email from May 2015, which outlined how legal teams for then commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and Maurice McCabe clashed at an inquiry into the latter’s allegations of Garda malpractice.
The email related to a strategy Sgt McCabe’s supporters claim was drawn up by the Garda high command to discredit him.
Asked in a radio interview on RTE’s Morning Ireland whether the only thing that could prevent a snap election was the resignation of Fitzgerald, Fianna Fáil jobs spokesperson Dara Calleary said: “I think so.”
“We don’t feel there is a need for a general election on this issue. What we don’t have is confidence in the Tánaiste’s ability.
“For two reasons: the lack of commitment to the whistleblowers and the lack of competence in her treatment of the Taoiseach, and her treatment of the disclosure of this email, we have no confidence in her ability to continue.”