Marc MacSharry quits Fianna Fáil

Marc MacSharry sensationally resigns from Fianna Fáil parliamentary party

Deputy Marc MacSharry

Sligo Leitrim  Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry has resigned from the parliamentary party and will vote no confidence in Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney.

The Dáil will debate and vote on a confidence motion in Mr Coveney later this evening.

In his letter of resignation, Mr MacSharry said: "I was elected to serve a democratic republic - not one which applies different rules and sanctions depending on the identity or the position of people involved."

Yesterday, the deputy for Sligo, Leitrim, South Donegal and North Roscommon, formally requested that his parliamentary party meet no later than 4pm today to consider how TDs and Senators would approach the vote - but the meeting was never held.

Deputy MacSharry had said: "As democrats I am certain we all agree that we take a collective position rather than one decided for us or dictated by the one or the few without proper consideration by all members."

In his resignation letter, he also said: "All Fianna Fáil party positioning and policy are being determined in a fashion consistent with an undemocratic totalitarian regime rather than that of a democratic socialist republican party of and for the people."

He added: "I therefore have no option but to resign the Fianna Fáil parliamentary whip effectively immediately and will be voting no confidence in Minister Coveney this evening."

Deputy MacSharry has said he will continue to work as a TD for his constituents adding: "I will work to the very best of my ability in line with my Fianna Fáil traditions, its constitution, and values from which the current leadership regime have unilaterally chosen to completely depart."

Mr MacSharry has long been an outspoken critic of Micheál Martin, arguing the party was being damaged by the position it was taking in Government.

Sinn Féin is due to move its no-confidence motion against Mr Coveney at around 6pm, over what it says is a lack of transparency around the appointment of former minister Katherine Zappone to the position of UN Special Envoy last July.

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