Cabinet Chaos Causes Confidence Collapse

Thursday's Cabinet reshuffle debacle has prompted Fianna Fail members to call for the vote of confidence in the Taoiseach to be revisited.

During a day of chaotic scenes in the Dáil and the resignation of five members of the Cabinet, Fianna Fáil TD Willie O'Dea has asked party members who voted confidence in Brian Cowen earlier this week to reconsider their decision.

Mr O'Dea made the statement on this morning's Morning Ireland programme, while his comments were quickly followed by his party colleague Mary O'Rourke who said the issue of Mr Cowen's leadership should be re-visited.

Ms O'Rourke said the unprecedented resignations and reshuffle had "changed things" since Tuesday's parliamentry meeting, where Mr Cowen narrowly won a vote of confidence.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen was yesterday forced to announce the date for the general election as March 11th by the junior coalition party, The Green Party, who's leader John Gormley was left incensed at the exclusion of the party from the reshuffle process.

The parties are believed to be at loggerheads again this morning after Government Chief Whip John Curran claimed the Green Party had no concerns over the plan for new appointments.

In a statement from the Green Party this morning, the party claimed that its TDs and senators today welcomed the Taoiseach’s decision not to appoint new ministers to government. They also welcomed Mr Cowen’s decision to fix March 11 as the date for a general election.

"We hope these decisions, coupled with the resolution of the Fianna Fail leadership issue on Tuesday, can allow this Government to return to work for its final weeks," the statement read.

Responding to the news of the election date, Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said Ireland had 50 days to bring "real change to our country".

"Ireland has many difficulties, but our capacities are far greater than our problems. This is a great country, and our people are more than equal to the task we face. Of building a better future for our children. Of ensuring that our best days are still to come."


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