Govt. to table motion of confidence

The Irish government will table a motion of full confidence in Taoiseach Brian Cowen next week after two highly critical reports gave a damning indictment of his handling of the economy while Finance Minister, the Irish Independent reports.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny attempted to force the Dail to hear a motion of no confidence today but was prevented by Ceann Comhairle Seamus Kirk.

"If a similar report was produced for any major company in the land, the chief executive officer would be dismissed forthwith and have to resign," Kenny said, according to the Press Association.

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Kenny tried to move the motion and force the government to defend its handling of the economy after international banking and finance experts reported the Irish crisis was a result of homegrown decisions rather than the global economic nosedive.

"I listened this morning to the Minister for Finance who said quite clearly that the government have to bear primary responsibility," Kenny said.

"He went on to speak about the socio-political context in which this happened. That socio-political context was generated by the government within the spires of the Galway tent and that socio-political context was this - that if you said anything, anything about the way the country was moving... you were either guilty of national sabotage our told to go and commit suicide."

Kenny described the Taoiseach as the chief architect of catastrophic failures of policy that caused recession.

He also accused Cowen of misleading the public over the origins of the banking crisis and subsequent downturn by delivering inappropriate budgets in his latter years in the Department of Finance.

Findings by former International Monetary Fund officials Klaus Regling and Max Watson delivered a major blow to the Taoiseach, who was finance minister ahead of the economic freefall.

In a second damning report, Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan also blames reckless banking chiefs and the financial regulator for being afraid to "spoil the party."

Despite the criticisms, Tanaiste Mary Coughlan said the government would not react to Fine Gael's push for a vote but will lodge its own motion of confidence on Tuesday when the Dail resumes full business.