O'Dowd defends outgoing Tánaiste's ministerial record

Louth Fine Gael TD describes mood in Dáil Éireann as "sombre"

Tamara O'Connell

Reporter:

Tamara O'Connell

O'Dowd defends outgoing Tánaiste's ministerial record

THE resignation of the Minister for Business is a “huge disappointment”, according to Louth Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd.

Mr O'Dowd spoke to The Dundalk Democrat following a vote in the Dáil about the Planning and Development bill this afternoon (Tuesday, November 28).

“The outgoing Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald is responsible for bringing 500 jobs to County Louth in the last month. I think she's a very good Minister,” said Mr O'Dowd.

“The mood in the Dáil is sombre. People realise no-one wants a general election before Christmas but we are facing into a general election in the New Year.”

He added: “The atmosphere in the Dáil is reflective. There is an awareness of how short a political life can be.”

The outgoing Tánaiste has said she is stepping down “to avoid an unwelcome and potentially destabilising general election at this historically critical time”.

Ms Fitzgerald is to remain on as a TD but will no longer serve in the Cabinet as Minister for Business.

In a statement this afternoon, she vowed to “vindicate my good name at the Charleton Tribunal, without causing any further distraction to the work of the government”.