Sinn Fein Table Motion Of No Confidence In Health Minister

Sinn Fein is set to table a motion of no confidence in Minister for Health Simon Harris.

It comes in the midst of a political storm over cost overruns in the construction of a new National Children's Hospital.

It was confirmed on Sunday 10 February that Mr Harris is to apologise to the Dáil over an answer he gave to a parliamentary question in September, in which he failed to indicate that the costs were escalating.

It emerged last week that Mr Harris was aware of potential overruns of hundreds of millions of euro in August.

Sinn Fein said an apology is no substitute for political accountability and are calling for the Minister to immediately resign his position after misleading the Dáil, the government and the public.

The party's leader, Mary Lou McDonald, called on Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin to support the motion.

She said: "It is simply not credible, in the wake of this massive overspend, that the people will accept an apology in the Dáil and move on. Fianna Fáil must stop protecting the Fine Gael Minister for Health.

"On Friday I wrote to Micheál Martin and challenged him to make his party's position clear – does he have confidence in the Minister for Health? Will he take action and support a motion of no confidence in this regard?

"Simon Harris misled the Dáil, he misled his government colleagues during crucial budget negotiations, he misled Fianna Fáil during negotiations on the renewal of confidence and supply and, most seriously, he misled the public.

"Our health services are beset by crisis on a near constant basis. This is the last straw. It is time for Fianna Fáil to stop protecting this Fine Gael government. They need to take a stand for accountability, for patients and for a functioning health service and remove this Minister from office."


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