Ireland's Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald to resign over Garda whistleblower scandal

Caitlin Morrison
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Frances Fitzgerald has stepped down as Leo Varadkar's deputy (Source: Getty)

Ireland's Tanaiste, the deputy head of government, has resigned, removing the immediate threat of a snap election that many feared would become a major distraction from Brexit negotiations.

Frances Fitzgerald said she is resigning for the sake of the country and to avoid a general election.

Her position has been in question since she became engulfed in a fresh scandal surrounding a police whistleblower. Recently released documents revealed that in 2015 Fitzgerald, then justice minister, had been told of an attempt to discredit the whistleblower, which was one year earlier than she had previously admitted.

Fitzgerald said she had forgotten receiving the email bringing the attacks against Sergeant Maurice McCabe to her attention.

While Taoiseach, and Fine Gael leader, Leo Varadkar said he supported Fitzgerald remaining as his deputy, following increased pressure from Fianna Fail, the main opposition party that props up Fine Gael’s minority government, today agreed to tender her resignation.

As a result, Fianna Fail said, a snap election is unlikely to go ahead.

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