NED STEPS IN AND ASKS
In a move that many see as an attempt to distance himself from the ever-diminishing support for the Government, Deputy Ned O’Keeffe has called for An Taoiseach Brian Cowen to resign immediately.
Deputy O’Keeffe, who has in the past described the Taoiseach as ‘the right man to get the country out of the economic crisis’, made his call for Brian Cowen’s resignation last weekend.
Deputy O’Keeffe told reporters, “I believe we have to have a leadership change before the election. While I dislike saying that, I think there’s no alternative. Otherwise there’ll be no party.”
LACK OF SUPPORT
Deputy O’Keeffe was asked to explain what had led to his sudden lack of support for the Taoiseach and his party leader?
“The recent resignations of party colleagues, Minister of State Michael Finneran and former minister of state Mary Wallace was the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of my support for Mr Cowen. There is far too much secrecy and too little transparency in the manner in which the Government is conducting its business,” Deputy O’Keeffe said.
While Deputy O’Keeffe supported the Government’s recent budget which increased taxes and cut social welfare payments, he now maintains that another reason for calling for Deputy Cowen’s resignation stems from these very cuts.
“The decision to inject further billions of euro into the banks in the same month that the carers allowance was reduced was totally unacceptable,” Deputy O’Keeffe said.
Reacting to Deputy O’Keeffe’s statement, Labour’s Deputy Sean Sherlock said, “This current outburst is less about Ned caring for the country and more about him worrying about his election chances. The only reason Deputy O’Keeffe is distancing himself from Brian Cowen is in an attempt to save his seat. He is like the ‘boy who cried wolf’,” Deputy Sherlock said. Fine Gael candidate and Mayor of Fermoy, Cllr Pa O’Driscoll welcomed Deputy O’Keeffe’s call for the Taoiseach to resign.
“Deputy O’Keeffe’s term in government has been just one long list of contradictions. First he is on record supporting NAMA, then he is calling it the worse piece of legislation in the history of the state. Meanwhile, he voted for it just like he voted for the budget that cut the carers and social welfare payments.
"As for his support for Brian Cowen, he (Deputy O’Keeffe) once described it as ‘absolute’, now all this has changed as well. The public had lost confidence in the Taoiseach a long time ago and it was nice to see that Deputy O’Keeffe had finally caught on to the opinions of the voters of North and East Cork.”
“I think the people of North East Cork deserve more than hot air in these difficult times and I am calling on Deputy O’Keeffe to support any no confidence motions that may come against the Taoiseach in the coming Dail term, if he feels as strongly on the issue as he says he does.
"The Taoiseach has let this country down badly and I agree with Deputy O’Keeffe, it is now time he stood down. However, I also believe it is time he stood his government down and called a general election, in order to give the people of Ireland a chance at a fresh start for the new year,” Cllr O’Driscoll said.
Thursday 13th January 5:56pm