"I know you’re used to gagging your opponents". Harris doesn't hold back in comments about Sinn Féin
Health Minister Simon Harris has survived a no-confidence vote after the motion was defeated in the Dáil on Wednesday evening.
The motion, tabled by Sinn Féin, was voted down by 58 votes to 53 with 40 abstentions.
Addressing the Dáil and in particular Sinn Féin, Harris did not hold back in his comments towards them for making it "tougher" for him and even made reference to gagging opponents.
You can read what he said in the Dáil below.
"Ceann Comhairle, we will build the National Children’s Hospital after decades of debate. We will get to the bottom of what’s gone wrong, and we’ll make sure that lessons are learned. But we will not walk away from this vital project. Sinn Féin walks away, you walked away from the Health Ministry in Northern Ireland when you held that position. You might quit, but quitting is not in my DNA. Walking away is not an option.
“I know you’re used to gagging your opponents, but we don’t do that in here. Political accountability is about standing by your decisions.It’s about working day and night to deliver them. Leadership is about sticking with the job even when the going gets tough and even when you [Sinn Féin] try and make it tougher, and I accept both challenges."
Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald also launched an attack on Fianna Fáil for abstaining on the no-confidence vote, saying the Confidence and Supply arrangement had "undermined and discredited the political process".
She also stated it's not in the national interest to keep a failing minister in their post.