Reilly wins confidence vote as Taoiseach and Tánaiste state their support
A MOTION OF no confidence in Health Minister James Reilly has been defeated by the government’s majority in the Dáil this evening.
The Fianna Fáil proposed motion was defeated after the government-proposed amendment expressing confidence in Reilly was won by 99 votes to 49 with not a single government backbencher wavering in their support for the Minister.
Only Patrick Nulty, who lost the Labour whip after voting against the Budget last December, voted with the opposition.
The vote followed two nights of debate which tonight included over 90 minutes of statements from members of the opposition and government ministers, among them the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste who expressed their support for the embattled Reilly.
But there was no ringing endorsement from the junior health minister Róisín Shortall who did not mention Reilly’s name once or express any confidence in him during her statement. However she did vote in support of him.
Earlier, the debate heard from a number of independents, among them Waterford TD John Halligan who said that he was “uncomfortable” with the Fianna Fáil proposed motion but would with “regret” be voting for it.
Luke Ming Flanagan said that “people should tell the truth when they go before the electorate” and accused Reilly of telling “porkies” when he was in opposition and since being found out, calling on him to resign.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that he had “every confidence” in the Minister and said that he has a “passionate commitment to create a health service to put the patient first”.
“Let me assure this house that Minister Reilly did not engage in a deeply cynical campaign before the last election,” he insisted, saying that Reilly committed himself to a programme of reform which he was passionate about and on which he was delivering.