Minister Mary Butler says "mudslinging" in the Dail was a "stain on politics"

Minister Mary Butler says "mudslinging" in the Dail was a "stain on politics"

Minister Mary Butler says she agrees the actions of  Simon Coveney on the Katherine Zappone issue is a "yellow card issue" and "not a red one".

The Waterford TD said she agreed with the analogy presented by Independent TD Marian Harkin during a bitter and fractious debate in the Dail last night on a confidence motion in the Foreign Affairs Minister, which the Government ended up winning on a 92-59 vote.

She also told Damien Tiernan on Deise Today this morning (Wednesday) that the events in the Dail last night were, in her opinion,  a "stain on politics".

"What transpired in the Dail last night was, I think, a stain in politics," the Minister said.


And referring to Cavan-Monaghan Sinn Fein TD Matt Carty's claim that it was Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris who leaked the proposed appointment of Katherine Zappone during the Cabinet meeting in July, the Minister questioned why he hadn't gone to the gardai with any information he had.

"Would Deputy Carty have made the same comments outside of Dail privilege," she asked, adding that in any case, she 'couldn't tolerate' the leaking culture.

Minister Mary Butler also spoke to Damien Tiernan this morning about the resignation of FF TD Sligo-Leitrim TD Marc MacSharry from the parliamentary party yesterday. In his resignation letter, he said Fianna Fail was behaving "in a fashion consistent with an undemocratic totalitarian regime rather than that of a democratic socialist republican party of, and, for the people."

Marc MacSharry had been a long time and vocal critic of Taoiseach Michael Martin.


Deputy Mary Butler said that like all colleagues, she was sorry to see anyone resigning from the parliamentary party.

She said the Sligo-Leitrim TD had been "clearly very unhappy for many years" and he had articulated this many times, including at the recent FF party think-in last week.

"Marc had been portraying a very negative narrative the last 18 months, since the last election," she said.

She also suggested the TD may have been among those "hurt" by being "overlooked" for promotion previously.

However, she disputed reports that there are up to 15 TDs and Senators in support of a possible heave against the Taoiseach.

"It couldn't be further from the truth. Three or four people would have issues with the direction the leader of the party has taken us in but at the same time they respect the whip system," she added.

"The vast majority of the party last week want to get on the job at hand, we have very serious issues to deal with."