Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Frances Fitzgerald has agreed to resign amid criticism over her handling of an investigation into allegations of corruption made by a whistleblower, a correspondent for Ireland’s RTE broadcaster reports, citing unnamed government ministers.
Ireland’s under-fire Deputy Prime Minister (Tanaiste) Frances Fitzgerald has agreed to resign, potentially averting a snap general election, unnnamed government ministers have told Ireland’s national broadcaster RTL.
Fitzgerald, a representative of the Fine Gael party, had been under pressure to resign over her handling of the treatment of a whistleblower who made allegations of corruption within Ireland’s national police force, the Garda.
On Sunday, emails were leaked from the Department of Justice, which showed that when she was Minister for Justice and Equality in 2015, Fitzgerald was informed about an “aggressive stance” which aimed to discredit the whistleblower, Sergeant Maurice McCabe, at the O’Higgins commission which examined allegations of police malpractice made by McCabe.
In a series of tweets on Monday, Fitzgerald had defended her conduct in the face of criticism.
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar had offered his full support to Fitzgerald, but further revelations in recent days have led other Fine Gael MP’s to question the support, with opposition parties Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein seeking her resignation.
The Irish Times reports that Fitzgerald’s departure from the minority government comes hours before a planned no-confidence motion in Ireland’s lower house of parliament, which would have triggered a snap general election.