Too Little, Too Fucking Late, Fianna Fail, are Literally Fucked as a Party, many will Lose their Seats; People are Angry, some Hungry, add Inflation, the Cost of Living, yet, We have our own Homeless Living in Bushes in Phoenix Park, and Foreigners put into 5 Star Hotels. No Justice there, Charity Begins at Home?

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Taoiseach’s series of phone calls to stave off rumblings of rebellion among Fianna Fáil backbenchers

8th July 2022

Taoiseach Micheál Martin was forced to make a series of phone calls to backbench Fianna Fáil TDs after it emerged they held an unofficial meeting to discuss the future of the party.

After arriving back from a state visit to Ukraine, he quickly moved to appease rebel TDs who organised a 30-strong meeting of parliamentary party members.

The Taoiseach’s intervention comes as the Government is facing a motion of no-confidence tabled by Sinn Féin over its handling of the cost of living crisis.

The vote next week hangs in the balance, with two expelled Green Party TDs saying they do not know how they will vote.

Neasa Hourigan and Patrick Costello said they are “in limbo” and have not been contacted by the Green Party whips’ office.

Independent TDs are also seeking to take advantage of the Government’s dwindling majority by seeking leverage.

However, the Taoiseach’s most immediate headache is the growing unease among his backbenchers, which materialised in an unprecedented meeting in Leinster House on Wednesday.

The private meeting was organised by Fianna Fáil TDs Barry Cowen, Jackie Cahill, James O’Connor and Paudi O’Sullivan.

Only party members who did not hold an office were invited to the event, which was held in Fianna Fáil’s parliamentary party room.

The organisers were taken aback by the attendance of the meeting, which the majority of the party’s backbench TDs and senators attended.

Members previously seen as loyal to the Taoiseach openly hit out at the lack of direction in the party and the poor engagement with TDs and senators.

Party headquarters was also heavily criticised.

Those attending the event were told leadership would not be discussed, but sources said the meeting was the “starting pistol” to find a successor to Mr Martin.

When details of the meeting emerged yesterday, the Taoiseach called some of those who had been there to seek details of their concerns. Fianna Fáil sources said Mr Martin was “very gentlemanly” in his approach to dealing with the growing dissent in his party.

“He saw the number of those who attended and decided he should change his approach to dealing with dissent,” a source said.

Mr Martin’s spokesperson said: “The Taoiseach, as party leader, is naturally in regular contact with members of his party.”

The rumblings in Fianna Fáil came as Sinn Féin said it will table a motion of no-confidence in the Government next week. Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald called on Independent TDs to weigh in behind the vote.

“We’ve had two years now of what I would describe as disastrous government, and in the areas of housing and healthcare we have moved from one fiasco to the next,” she said.

Last night, Ms Hourigan said she “loathed” to go into the Dáil to vote in a way that would make it impossible for her to rejoin the party, but added: “The whips’ office will not communicate with me, so I feel a little bit in limbo.”

Mr Costello echoed his exiled colleague’s comments, but said the Green Party “needs to talk to us about what the terms and conditions are”.

Independent TDs who at times vote with the Government were reluctant yesterday to pledge their support ahead of the vote.

Kildare South TD Cathal Berry will vote against the Government unless it approves a plan to increase defence spending.

Waterford TD Matt Shanahan said he will make his decision over the weekend, but sectoral targets for carbon emissions, which are yet to be announced by the Government, is a “concerning” issue for him.

Roscommon-Galway deputy Michael Fitzmaurice also said he had concerns about the climate plan.

Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae said he could not support the Government due to its failure to act on the cost of living.

Independent Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick said Sinn Féin is using cost of living as a “political football”, but he has not decided how he will vote.

Is Micheál Martin on his last lap? Here are the contenders who might replace him as leader of Fianna Fáil

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