*Justice Minister, Helen McEntee walks the streets of Dublin flanked by Gardaí.
MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, Helen McEntee (FG) has survived a confidence vote with two of the three Clare TDs present supporting the Government.
Sinn Féin had initially tabled a no-confidence motion in the Minister for Justice in the aftermath of the Dublin riots a fortnight ago.
However, the Government tabled a counter-motion expressing confidence in the Minister. They won this vote 83-63.
Michael McNamara (IND) voted against the Government. He said, “I don’t have confidence in the Minister, the number of Gardaí has decreased during the lifetime of this Dáil, the number of Gardaí has decreased in Clare and of those who are still in force, obviously there’s huge problems on morale and retaining existing Gardaí but they are spending from what I’m hearing from ordinary Gardaí they are spending more and more time doing paperwork and behind computers and not on the beat.
“I’m afraid you can say that is a problem for Garda management rather than the Government but ultimately it is either Garda management can’t do their job properly or there is inadequate resources, either way that is a problem for Government and a problem they have ignored for too long in my view,” the Scariff native added.
As expected, Government TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) did not stray from the party line and gave his confidence to Minister McEntee. Joe Carey TD (FG) remains on sick leave and was not present for the vote.
Describing the vote as “a waste of time,” Violet-Anne Wynne (IND) was paired with Junior Minister Brendan Griffin (FG) which meant that she withdrew her vote to support the Government.
Pairing is essentially a gentleman’s agreement between the Government and opposition. It means the opposition will not take advantage of a government TD being absent. Under the pairing regime, a TD from an opposition party agrees not to vote when the Government deputy is not present.
She had previously been in a voting pair with Minister McEntee. She was critical of Sinn Féin for tabling the motion. “You usually listen to the polls. Could ye not of (sic) called for more of a crackdown on immigration, at least that will give the 75% what they want, working towards something productive. Not playing politics with such a sensitive matter, you know quite well this motion is worthless. They have the numbers”.