Cabinet 'a grey cabal'
The Government was described as a “coalition of the heartless of the gutless”.
Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald described the Cabinet as a “grey cabal of pompous ego-trippers”, and said the “self-righteousness of Fine Gael” was only contrasted with the “snivelling submission” of the Labour Party.
She was speaking during a heated debate on Sinn Féin’s motion of no confidence in the Government, which was comfortably defeated by 88 votes to 51.
Ms McDonald said the Coalition had abandoned the middle class and had “no respect for carers and no regard for what the loss of €325 means to a carer”. The “promise of the democratic revolution is patent nonsense”.
However, in a staunch defence of the Government’s record, Taoiseach Enda Kenny launched a stinging attack on Sinn Féin. Mr Kenny described the motion as “a politically opportunistic act from a party with nothing to offer to the national debate except easy options and damaging policies”.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said: “We will not exaggerate our achievements but the end is in sight. When we win this fight, say goodbye to the troika. When our economy is sound . . . and we have created more jobs and opportunities, it will be the men and women of this Government alone who have said that we stood shoulder to shoulder with the Irish people.”
Independent TD Catherine Murphy said at the time of the Maastricht Treaty Ireland was to get £7.2 billion over five years. But “we’re paying €8.1 billion next year in interest alone on the national debt”.