Willie O’Dea resigns as Irish Defence Minister

Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea has resigned from his cabinet post as Irish Minister for Defence despite Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s declared support this afternoon. O’Dea had survived a vote of no confidence in the Dáil yesterday, but pressure continued to mount today. But it wasn’t his “stupid, silly” comments which caused the problem, it was his swearing an affidavitt that he hadn’t said them – as former Green party councillor Vincent Martin pointed out in the Irish Times. And the Green Party may have forced the issue.

The Green Parliamentary Party met this afternoon to discuss the controversy. Green party leader John Gormley then met the Taoiseach Brian Cowen to discuss the controversy. “The Green parliamentary party members are satisfied that the issue will be resolved to their satisfaction,” a spokesman for the party in Government said following the meeting.