Updated: 26/11/17 : 08:27:19
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Last minute attempt to avoid General Election

Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin are expected to engage again today in a bid to avert a pre-Christmas General Election.

The collapse of the Government could be imminent as the parties disagree over the Tánaiste’s handling of the Maurice McCabe controversy.


Fianna Fail has tabled a motion of no-confidence in the former Justice Minister and are expected to vote on the motion on Tuesday.

Last night the party set about examining Department of Justice documents in a fresh attempt to avoid an election.

Fine Gael Deputy Jerry Buttimer says the party remains fully behind Frances Fitzgerald:

"Neither Fianna Fáil nor Sinn Féin can explain why they want an election over an issue that is being handled by the tribunal.

"The Táinaiste as far as I’m concerned has done nothing wrong, her record as minister has shown that she has protected whistleblowers.

"She has been very much about leading the culture of change within the Department of Justice and within the gardaí so this is opportunism at its worst by the opposition."

Last night, Fianna Fáil were examining Department of Justice documents in an attempt to salvage their supply and confidence agreement with Fine Gael.

The documents contain information in relation to the Tánaiste’s handling of the Maurice McCabe controversy.

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin has called for clarity over the batch of documents.


"Political expediency now has entered into what should be the normal business of answering parliamentary questions," said Deputy Howlin.

"Obviously they are germane to the questions that have been posed by the members of the Oireachtas including Alan Kelly, myself and others.

"They haven’t been provided to members of the Oireachtas but they are to be provided to the leader of Fianna Fail apparently to assuage his concerns and to take the pressure off the government. Now that is an extraordinary state of affairs."

In yesterday’s meeting, the Taoiseach discussed with Micheal Martin the possibility of the role that the Charleton enquiry would play in examining the Táinaiste’s role and knowledge of the Garda legal strategy around Mr McCabe.

There was also talk at the meeting around reforming the Department of Justice.