Following the announcement by the Green Party that they will pull out of the coalition government a pre-Christmas election is now a possibility.
Speaking in Donegal, Fine Gael's Leader, Enda Kenny said "What is needed now is an immediate General Election so that a new government, with a clear parliamentary majority, can prepare the four-year economic plan, complete negotiations with the IMF and frame a budget for 2011.”
Labour Party leader, Eamon Gilmore, has called on the election of a new Government to happen as early as next month. He called on the Taoiseach to dissolve parliament.
He said the Greens “had finally recognized the Government was past its sell-by date.
“Fianna Fáil has made a mess of the country; they have crippled the economy and brought national morale to an unprecedented low.
“After 13 years of bad government and weeks of lying to the Irish people, the unprecedented decision taken on Sunday effectively represents the handing over of the deeds of the country to the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“It is essential that we have a new government elected as soon as possible.”
Sinn Féin Dáil leader, Caoimhghin O Caolain, said that he saw the Greens move as being a case of cutting and running because they made their decision less than 24 hours after the Government had announced that they would be officially applying for a bail out.
Mr O Caolain said “It is absolutely shameful that this party is denying the people an immediate general election and helping Fianna Fáil to inflict further massive damage on the Irish economy and Irish society.
“The Green Party has played a disgraceful role in one of the worst cabinets that has ever governed in any country.
“We now have the unprecedented situation where a coalition partner has announced it is to pull out of a Government while at the same time preparing to help frame and vote for its Budget.”
Earlier this morning, Independent TD Michael Lowry had said that he would, more than likely, support the Government’s December 7 Budget as a issues of “national interest”.
Lowry called on Fine Gael and Labour to sit down with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan and reach and agreement on the budget. On the contrary, fellow independent Jackie Healy-Rae said it was no longer possible support the budget. He said that he would be officially withdrawing his support following the “blatant lies” told by Prime Minister Brian Cowen and ministers in the last two weeks. He said that he was unlikely to support the budget.
He added that the Irish political parties should offer the public their remedies to the situation and the Irish people could cast their votes.
Sinn Fein’s, Aonghus O’Snodaigh, was just one of many politicians and members of the public who said they wanted the general election to take place before Christmas. He said that waiting until the New Year would be “too late”.
Meanwhile a group of protestors have broken through the security cordon at the gates of the Government Buildings on Merrion Street. At 1.30 today nearly 100 protestors, thought to be mainly Sinn Fein members marched from Leinster House on Kildare Street to the Government Buildings on Merrion Street.
When they arrived they pushed open the main gates and entered the courtyard where they remained for a number of minutes. They protest continues outside the Government buildings.