Sinn Fein motion on Garda Commissioner defeated

A Sinn Féin motion seeking the removal of Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan from her position has been defeated in the Dáil by 98 votes to 46

Earlier, a Fianna Fáil motion and two Government counter motions in relation to the Garda Commissioner were also defeated. 

The Fianna Fail Private Members' motion calling on the Government to request the Policing Authority to assess the role and capacity of the Garda Commissioner to restore public confidence in the force was defeated 91 votes to 54. 

The Government bid to amend the Fianna Fáil motion was rejected as was an attempt to amend the Sinn Féin motion.
 


Government accused over ongoing failures

The Government has been accused of presiding over a range of failures during Leaders' Questions in the Dáil.

Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy raised questions about the Government's Brexit strategy and noted the housing crisis, the ongoing bus strike and the impact on rural Ireland by bank closures.

Sinn Féin's Louise O'Reilly cited "chaos" in the area of justice, transport and governance and "the most stark is the chaos in our hospitals".

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, taking Leaders' Questions on behalf of the Taoiseach, defended the Government's record and pointed to Ireland's growing economy.

She said there are a number of strategies in place to deal with Brexit and on easing pressure in the health service.


Childcare support scheme delayed

A childcare support scheme for around 9,000 low income families has been delayed at least until next year.

The Tánaiste told the Dáil that the scheme, which was announced in the budget, has been delayed because of difficulties with a new IT system and a lack of necessary legislation.

She said the Department of Children and Youth Affairs is building a fully automated online system, which will help parents access childcare supports.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin said the signature commitment of Budget 2017 is not going to happen and the Government had failed to be honest with the people who need the scheme.

Minister Fitzgerald said that when the scheme is up and running and "using existing levels of investment, a further 9,000 families will benefit from up to €12 a week". 


Mental health service review to be published in '2-3 weeks'

A review of the Vision for Change document, which focuses on mental health services, will be published within the next three weeks.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald was responding to Independent TD Catherine Connolly who said the review was promised 15 months ago and asked about the status of the report and the implementation body.

Minister Fitzgerald confirmed that the first stages of the review will be published within two to three weeks and an implementation group would be established immediately, adding that it will identify gaps in mental health services.

She confirmed that services will be available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

A Vision for Change was published in 2006 and focused on building and fostering positive mental health across the entire community and for providing accessible, community-based, specialist services for people with mental illness.