Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle Supports Motion Of No Confidence In The Tánaiste

How can you have confidence in somebody who leaks official documents, thereby undermining best practice of standards in public office?


The predictable 2pm row over the order of business and move to the Convention Centre should have also been avoided, Ceann.  As I said in the Dáil Chamber, there was no reason why the Government couldn’t have put forward their motion to be taken tomorrow, on Wednesday, when we were due to be here anyway.  Thanks to Deputy Boyd Barrett for noting the proposal I put forward at yesterday’s business committee meeting to that effect.  Never mind the cost and logistics of the move but it also means far less speaking time for opposition on a Government Motion of Confidence than what we would have had on the Sinn Féin’s Motion of No Confidence.   The change also means a later finish for all the staff.


Ceann, I was reading the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s Circular entitled “Policy on the Use of Private Email and Other Private Messaging Services” which was sent around by HR in April 2019.  The circular related to the use of services other than official Oireachtas designated modes of communication.  It states that it relates to Civil Servants but surely the question here is that a Tánaiste and Minister’s ability to carry out his official government position to the highest standard must also mean that he is at the very least held to the same standards as our Government and Department Officials?  The circular even allows for exceptions to the rule but says that information relating to government business must be forwarded to official work accounts prior to being deleted.  Point 12 states “Failure to adhere to the requirements set out in this Circular may result in disciplinary action under the Civil Service Disciplinary Code”.  Why do Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens think that the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, is above the standards we set for our Civil Servants?  We are public servants, Ceann, and should be held accountable for our actions.


The Tánaiste could simply apologise and step down, as a previous Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald did.  That did not trigger an election.  There is no excuse for Fianna Fáil and Green Party TDs to be saying that they have confidence in the Tánaiste.  He undermined best practice for standards in public office, this much he has admitted himself, and now he should face the consequences of those actions.  If the Tánaiste thinks that “Welfare Cheats Cheat Us All” what does he think about politicians who behave as if they are above the standards set for us and others in the Civil Service?  Who is cheated then, Ceann?  Because I would definitely say that the electorate is cheated, as well as cheating those of us, the elected representatives, with principles trying to earn the public’s trust in politics.