Eamon Ryan flying home from Dubai to vote in tomorrow’s Dáil motion of no confidence in the Justice Minister is ‘not ideal’ the Taoiseach has admitted.
Last week, Sinn Féin tabled a motion of no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee, claiming she had not been “not listening” following the Dublin riots.
Eamon Ryan is currently in Dubai for the COP28 climate summit; however, the vote meant he would have to leave early.
“Minister Ryan really doesn’t have a choice unfortunately,” Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said.
“It is a confidence vote and pairs are only given for people who are sick or incapacitated, so he isn’t able to get a pair for that reason.
“He is going to come back from Dubai from COP and then head out there again - which isn’t ideal but, given the circumstances, I don’t think he has any choice.”
Social Democrats environment spokesperson Jennifer Whitmore has since announced she will pair with Minister Ryan, allowing him to remain at COP.
Minister Ryan said he was 'grateful' to the Wicklow TD and the arrangement had been signed off by the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste.
He also said he had "full confidence" in Minister McEntee and the Government.
Great to speak at the @IRENA event where 118 countries including #Ireland pledged to triple renewables. As @billmckibben says why would we continue to take our energy from hell - below the earth - when we can take it from heaven - the sun @COP28_UAE pic.twitter.com/9rYy1slgUj
— Eamon Ryan (@EamonRyan) December 3, 2023
Fine Gael has questioned whether Sinn Féin has acted in a responsible manner since the riots took place.
“What do we see in terms of responsible politics from the lead opposition?” Minister of State Neale Richmond said.
“The very next day we have the leader of Sinn Féin, yards away from an active crime scene, calling for the resignation of the Garda Commissioner.
“Then over the weekend, we see [Sinn Féin TD] Louise O’Reilly demanding the Taoiseach ‘take Helen McEntee out’.
“Then we see, earlier this week, Mary Lou McDonald posting and tweeting a really worrying picture of a vulnerable person and then Louise O’Reilly brandishes that in the Dáil.
“Is that constructive politics?”
Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Pa Daly countered that many people in Ireland no longer feel safe.
“Remember, Fine Gael have been in charge of the Justice ministry for the past 13 years,” he said.
“I don’t think there’s a single person really outside Fine Gael who believes that enough has been done to maintain or to improve the presence of Gardaí on our streets.”
The motion of no confidence will be debated tomorrow.
Main image: Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Micheál Martin, briefing media in the Courtyard of Government Buildings. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie