Jack Chambers is a Fianna Fail Clown, staunch Martin Supporter, but even Clowns know, when a Government is in Tatters. Leo has to Step Down….

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Fianna Fáil fear being dragged down with Varadkar’s flailing ‘DUP’

10th August 2021


Jack Chambers, Leo Varadkar are posing for a picture© Provided by Extra.ie

Fianna Fáil members have rejected attempts by Micheál Martin and Government whip Jack Chambers to draw a line under the Katherine Zappone furore.

And one senior source was moved to compare the fractious state of the Coalition partners to the ‘chaos’ of the DUP and the ‘dysfunctional Northern Executive’.

On RTÉ’s This Week, Government whip Jack Chambers tried to quash the saga by welcoming the fact that ‘the Tánaiste has apologised and expressed regret’.Jack Chambers wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Government whip Jack Chambers has tried to quash the saga by welcoming the fact that ‘the Tánaiste has apologised and expressed regret’. Pic: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie© Provided by Extra.ie Government whip Jack Chambers has tried to quash the saga by welcoming the fact that ‘the Tánaiste has apologised and expressed regret’. Pic: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Mr Chambers was echoing the position of Taoiseach Micheál Martin who last week said: ‘The Government accepts that further clarity and consistency on guidelines was required. As we move forward, personal responsibility will be a key factor.’

The Taoiseach’s circumspect response has done little to reduce mounting fury within his own party over the inability of Fine Gael to put their house in order.

In an indication of gathering unease within Fianna Fáil, one senior figure compared the Coalition to the Northern Executive, adding: ‘The only difference is they have five parties who can’t work together and achieve nothing. We only have three.’

Leo Varadkar© Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images Leo Varadkar

Of Fine Gael, the Fianna Fáil grandee said: ‘They are as dysfunctional as the DUP. Like the DUP after a long period of dominance, they are tearing themselves apart and we are getting caught up in the crossfire.’

Another senior Fianna Fáil figure noted the Coalition’s increasingly frantic attempts to extricate itself from trouble, saying it was a case of: ‘’Tis worse we are improving.’

Concern is also rife within Fianna Fáil over the perceived attempt by Fine Gael to secure the Tánaiste’s escape from trouble via the advice of the Attorney General.Micheal Martin wearing a suit and tie: The Taoiseach’s circumspect response has done little to reduce mounting fury within his own party over the inability of Fine Gael to put their house in order. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos© Provided by Extra.ie The Taoiseach’s circumspect response has done little to reduce mounting fury within his own party over the inability of Fine Gael to put their house in order. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

The move was sharply criticised by Willie O’Dea while Timmy Dooley said the intervention was ‘an attempt to use the Attorney General’s advice to suggest the event complied with the rules, when the world and its father knows it was not. It was not impressive.’

The party also moved to check gathering attempts by the Fine Gael hierarchy to sideline any inquiry into the Zappone appointment by the Committee of Foreign Affairs.

The senior Fianna Fáil TD and Committee member Barry Cowen warned that the committee intended to proceed and ‘information will be sought on the role envisaged by the Minister and the Department’.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Timmy Dooley said the intervention was ‘an attempt to use the Attorney General’s advice to suggest the event complied with the rules, when the world and its father knows it was not. It was not impressive.’ Pic: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie© Provided by Extra.ie Timmy Dooley said the intervention was ‘an attempt to use the Attorney General’s advice to suggest the event complied with the rules, when the world and its father knows it was not. It was not impressive.’ Pic: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Mr Cowen was strongly supported by his Committee colleague Cathal Berry. The Independent TD said: ‘We expect full cooperation from the Department of Foreign Affairs and all personnel called by the committee from the political and official levels.’

Fianna Fáil’s concerns will not be eased by the accelerating turmoil in Fine Gael and a FG TD’s claim that the Tánaiste is in real danger of ‘losing the dressing room’.

Mr Varadkar, one normally sympathetic source claimed ‘is utterly detached. He is closeted away with his closest advisers, those who are left’.a man wearing a suit and tie: The senior Fianna Fáil TD and Committee member Barry Cowen warned that the committee intended to proceed and ‘information will be sought on the role envisaged by the Minister and the Department’. Pic: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie© Provided by Extra.ie The senior Fianna Fáil TD and Committee member Barry Cowen warned that the committee intended to proceed and ‘information will be sought on the role envisaged by the Minister and the Department’. Pic: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

They added of Mr Varadkar: ‘The pilot is nervous. We are in a state of serious turbulence. Half the Cabinet and maybe the pilot too are looking to see where the parachutes are.’

Another TD warned: ‘Chaos last week. All holidays cancelled. Spin-doctors recalled. No one available for the call-up. Even local radio was abandoned when it came to the battlefront.’

One senior figure noted: ‘He is a man still living under the shadow of Phil Hogan, Dara Calleary and Tony Holohan.

‘Should they speak out he would be in trouble. He is no longer the master and commander of his own fate.

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