The Dáil voted yesterday by 85 votes to 49 for the Government’s controversial strategic communications unit  to be disbanded.

The vote follows a two-hour debate on a Sinn Féin motion that the SCU, dubbed the “spin unit” by the Opposition, should be stood down.

Earlier this week on Midwest News, Sligo Leitrim Fianna Fail TD Marc McSharry dubbed it a “propaganda unit” and called for its abolition.

 Yesterday Fianna Fáil voted with Sinn Féin, the smaller parties and Independents on the proposal to close the government’s Strategic Communications unit, consisting of of 15 staff with a €5 million budget.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar indicated when he replied to the debate on Tuesday that the Government would ignore the motion.

According to today’s Irish Times, the result is an embarrassment for Mr Varadkar but it is only a symbolic victory for the Opposition as the Government is under no obligation to act on such votes.

Since the minority Government was formed almost two years ago it has suffered dozens of defeats on private members’ motions.

 

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