Donohoe: Varadkar no confidence motion 'very, very likely' to be defeated


Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.59 10 Nov 2020


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Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe says a no confidence motion in Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is 'very, very likely' to be defeated.

TDs will debate a Sinn Féin motion of no confidence in Mr Varadkar in the Dáil later on Tuesday.

It comes after the Fine Gael leader confirmed he had sent a confidential GP agreement to the then-head of the NAGP while he was Taoiseach.

Village magazine - which initially revealed details of the sharing of the GP agreement - claimed Mr Varadkar met Dr Matt Ó Tuathail at least 10 times last year, around the dates he passed on the confidential contract to him.

Mr Varadkar told the Dáil that Dr Ó Tuathail was the kind of friend 'that you meet two or three times a year'.

However, a spokesperson for the Tánaiste has said many of the alleged encounters did not happen.

Minister Donohoe told Newstalk Breakfast this must be viewed 'in the round' of Mr Varadkar's time in public office.

"I think it's very, very likely that it will be defeated.

"I think Government TDs and those who work with Leo, and who have done so for a while now, accept two things.

"The first thing they accept is that the way in which this particular matter was handled fell short of the standards that Leo Varadkar has for himself.

"But the second thing I think they accept is that Leo has demonstrated the highest of standards in his time in public office on the management and leadership of a whole array of matters for our country.

"And I think this particular issue has to be seen in the round, and in the round of his normally exceptionally high standards".

"The Tánaiste himself has acknowledged that he didn't handle this in the way he should have, and would have again in the future.

"And this is why he went into the Dáil last Tuesday, answered questions on the matter and apologised.

"From the moment this issued developed he issued a statement saying that this was not in line with his own standards or practice for dealing with this matter.

"He acknowledged this to the public, to his partners in Government and then in the Dáil.

"He answered questions on the matter in the context of having given that statement, and will do so again this evening".

Asked about any division in Government over this, he said: "I know this matter has been discussed between the party leaders since the issue developed.

"I know at party leader level there is a common view in relation to the issue, and I believe that also exists amongst the three different parties.

"But all TDs do have the right to express their view on this matter - but I would hope when we get to the motion tonight this issue will be considered in the round of the way that Leo Varadkar has conducted himself now in high office for nearly a decade".

Asked about alleged meetings cited in the Village magazine article, Minister Donohoe said: "They've made two allegations in relation to two meetings that they allege happened - neither of those meetings happened".

Main image: Leo Varadkar and Paschal Donohoe address the media at the opening of the National Economic Dialogue in the Printworks Conference Centre, Dublin Castle in June 2019. Picture by: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

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Dr Matt Ó Tuathail Leo Varadkar Newstalk Breakfast No Confidence Motion Paschal Donohoe Village Magazine

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