Junior minister admits Fine Gael & Fianna Fáil agreement was "stretched to its breaking point"

Leo Varadkar now has to appoint a new Tánaiste after Frances Fitzgerald's resignation yesterday

Junior minister admits Fine Gael & Fianna Fáil agreement was "stretched to its breaking point"

Michael D’Arcy. Image: RollingNews.ie

A junior minister claims the agreement between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil was 'stretched to breaking point' by the whistleblower crisis.

However, Micheal D'Arcy is not sure an election is inevitable in Spring 2018.

The Government was on the brink of collapsing in recent days, as a Fianna Fáil motion of no confidence in in Frances Fitzgerald as Tánaiste threatened the party's confidence & supply arrangement with Fine Gael.

However, Deputy Fitzgerald's decision yesterday to resign from Cabinet averted a Christmas election.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will now need to appoint a new Tánaiste, with Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney tipped as the favourite to take up the role.

Ministers Paschal Donohoe and Heather Humphreys are also being considered.

Sinn Féin, meanwhile, now wants the Disclosures Tribunal to expand its remit and look at recent revelations about the Department of Justice, Minister Charlie Flanagan and the former Tánaiste.

Minister D'Arcy admits the arrangement keeping the Government up has been seriously tested in recent days.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, he explained: "There's really major issues coming up - everybody knows and understands what those issues are. We as public representatives and members of the Oireachtas have to get on and deal with them.

"I think the [agreement] was stretched - I think it was stretched to its breaking point. It isn't broken - it's still in place."

He added that questions need to be asked about the Department of Justice, noting: "The Taoiseach was given inaccurate information twice - the really big question for me is how it came to pass that the Disclosures Tribunal were not passed on relevant documents." 

Reporting by Sean Defoe & Stephen McNeice