Boyle calls for O'Dea to resign


Green Party chairman Dan Boyle has said Minister for Defence Willie O'Dea should resign and that he believes the Green Party were forced into supporting Fianna Fáil in a vote of confidence in Mr O'Dea without being given a chance to properly consider the matter.

Mr Boyle told The Neil Prendeville Show on Cork's 96FM this morning he believed the issue surrounding Mr O'Dea was ethical rather than legal but that he was concerned at the Green Party being "bounced" into supporting the motion of confidence in the minister.

Mr Boyle said that he wasn't the only one within the Green Party to have concern about the way the matter was handled but he rejected a suggestion that it was yet another issue where the Greens had succumbed to Fianna Fáil's view and would not quit government at any price.

"I must admit I'm not happy with the situation but I don't agree that there's nothing that won't get the Green Party out of Government - it's still our inclination to stay in Government and achieve what we can.

"At the same time, situations like this make it difficult to remain in government and that changes the situation, and the only way of getting out of it is for other person to consider their position," Mr Boyle told the radio show.

"I believe he (Mr O'Dea) is compromised in any case and he should have been making this decision of his own accord - I believe the ethical reasons are that he should stand aside - I think big questions still hang over the situation."

Mr Boyle said that way that the matter had been handled in terms of Dáil procedure where it was added to the order of business at 1pm yesterday for debate at 3.45pm didn't give the Green Party parliamentary group time to consider the matter as they would have wished.

" I think if we had an opportunity to meet as wider parliamentary party yesterday before the decision was made to hold a vote of confidence motion, it wouldn't have been held yesterday, and I think that's the first course of action that we should have achieved.

"I think we've been bounced into a situation where we haven't had proper consideration and consultation on, and I'm expressing my personal opinion why that happened and why it shouldn't have happened."

Mr Boyle said that had the matter not been brought before the Dáil so quickly, the Green Party would have had an opportunity to consider it and the wider questions regarding ethics in politics and they would have then relayed their feelings to Fianna Fáil

"At that stage, Green Party unhappiness at the situation would be communicated to our partners in government, and they would have reacted accordingly - it mightn't have come to a vote and there mightn't have been a debate - that's how these situations usually unfold."

Mr Boyle said he had decided to post his comments on Facebook and Twitter about his lack of confidence in Mr O'Dea because he didn't believe the Green Party should be associated with the way how Mr O'Dea had commented on Sinn Féin candidate, Maurice Quinlivan.

"What concerns me is that we have been seen to support and condone the type of behaviour where people smear each other during election campaigns and that's not the type of politics we are about or want to be associated with - that was why I was expressing my discomfort.

"It [expressing his views on Facebook and Twitter] was largely personal but it was done out of concern at the position that the party finds itself so I consider that part of my job as chairman," said Mr Boyle who said he will raise his concerns at a parliamentary party meeting with his Green Party colleagues today.