Ireland set for snap election in December over police scandal

Ireland set for snap election in December over police scandal

IRELAND is on the verge of a snap election next month after Fianna Fáil threatened to pull their support for the government unless Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald, of Fine Gael, resigns.

Ms Fitzgerald has come under fire this week over an email from May 2015, which her critics allege shows that she knew about, and did nothing to stop attempts by a former chief of police to discredit a police whistleblower.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has nevertheless declared his support for his number two, as fears grow that the country could well be on its way to an early election.

Mr Varadkar ruled out a resignation by Ms Fitzgerald on Friday after meeting Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin in Dublin.

That’s despite Mr Martin’s party submitting a no confidence measure in Fitzgerald on Friday, which will be voted on Tuesday.

Mr Martin argued that the Deputy PM “should step aside in our view and that would avoid a general election.”

News that Irish people could be going to the polls in the middle of Britain’s divorce talks with the EU will do little to dampen fears of Brexit’s effect on the Republic.

The Taoiseach said a December election would be a likely outcome should Fianna Fáil pass their no confidence vote next week.

“I think if we don’t resolve matters by Tuesday, then there will be a motion of no confidence in the Tanaiste,” he told RTE.

“And, if the opposition come together to remove the Tanaiste, then we will be into an election at that point.”