(Bloomberg) -- Ireland’s justice minister won a confidence vote in parliament after opposition party Sinn Fein tabled a motion alleging that she and the police had not been adequately prepared to respond to riots that engulfed Dublin last month.
Eighty-three lawmakers voted in support of Minister Helen McEntee on Tuesday, three more than needed for a majority. Sixty-three voted against, one abstained.
Sinn Fein brought the motion after criticism of the speed of the response to the riots. Its leader, Mary Lou McDonald, called on McEntee to resign. However McEntee was supported by her own party Fine Gael, their coalition partners Fianna Fail and a number of independent TDs.
“Exactly at the moment when our country needed unity, Sinn Fein offered division,” public expenditure minister Paschal Donohoe told the debate. “When people wanted calmness and moderation, all you had was a loud and angry voice.”
A loss would have been damaging for the government which already faces mounting pressure over issues including a housing crisis ahead of an election that must be held before March 2025. Sinn Fein are polling as the most popular party, recent opinion polls show.
“It is the responsibility of the Minister for Justice to ensure that our streets are safe,” McDonald said in the debate. “She failed in these responsibilities abysmally with very dire consequences.”
The wreckage caused by the rioting is expected to cost tens of millions of euros, and was attributed to a far-right faction by Ireland’s police commissioner. McEntee praised the police Tuesday morning, saying their response was “really exceptional.”
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