Frances Fitzgerald insists she was not forced into resignation
The soon-to-be former Tánaiste insists she's resigning in order to avoid a damaging general election.
Frances Fitzgerald insists she was not forced into resigning from her position as Tánaiste and that she was doing so in order to stave off the threat of a general election before Christmas.
Fitzgerald's decision to step down comes after a week in which both Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil had tabled motions of no confidence in her, threatening the 'supply and confidence' deal that was in place between Micheál Martin's party and Fine Gael.
She expressed her intention resign at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning.
"Throughout my career I have always sought to act with integrity and responsibility, and that is why I have decided on this occasion to put the national interest ahead of my own personal reputation," Fitzgerald insisted in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.
Here is the statement by Frances Fitzgerald in full.
“Today I made the decision to tender my resignation to the Taoiseach, stepping-down with immediate effect as Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
“It has been the greatest honour of my life to serve in Government, but I believe it is necessary to take this decision to avoid an unwelcome and potentially destabilising general election at this historically critical time.
“Throughout my career I have always sought to act with integrity and responsibility, and that is why I have decided on this occasion to put the national interest ahead of my own personal reputation.
“I have always believed in fairness and equality and these principles have guided my work as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, as Minister for Justice and Equality, and now as Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
“I would like to thank the Taoiseach for showing the same courage and determination to protect my good name that he displayed three years ago when he stood-up and defended the reputation of Maurice McCabe.
“What I admire most about the Taoiseach is that he has always believed in doing what was right - not what was popular or politically expedient. I will always be grateful for his confidence and support and for giving me the opportunity to serve in a government that is making a real difference in people’s lives at a critical time in our history.
“However, I decided that my continuation in office risks destabilising that good work, and so I have decided to step-down so that this work may continue and the country can be spared an unnecessary election.
“It will also allow me to vindicate my good name at the Charleton Tribunal, without causing any further distraction to the work of the government.
“I have always believed in due process and I believe that in the current situation that is becoming increasingly difficult for me. I acted correctly in difficult circumstances and, in fact, did everything that I could to support the search for truth and protect whistleblowers.
“I would like to thank all those who have worked with me over the years and I am so grateful for the incredible support I received from family, friends, supporters, staff, and my constituents in Dublin Mid-West. And I look forward to continuing to serve all the people of Dublin Mid-West.
“I have no further comment to make.”
Statement by Frances Fitzgerald on her Resignation as Tanaiste and Minister pic.twitter.com/naZsyjZfiW
— Frances Fitzgerald MEP (@FitzgeraldFrncs) November 28, 2017