Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment and Workers Rights Louise O’Reilly said that Fianna Fáil TD and government backbencher Marc MacSharry needs to clarify his ‘bizarre’ and ‘ignorant’ comments attacking public sector workers.
Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Reilly said: “The comments in the Dáil this week from Deputy Marc MacSharry attacking public sector workers and accusing them of laziness were absolutely bizarre.
“The attack from Deputy MacSharry has, to my knowledge, no basis in fact and he should immediately clarify what and to whom he was referring to.
“I know first hand how hard our public servants worked during the lockdown – nurses, doctors, teachers, guards, county council staff, and the staff working behind the scenes in the Dáil – they have all worked extremely diligently in very difficult and testing situations.
“The comments from Deputy MacSharry are extremely divisive and have the sole intent of creating division between the public and private sector, something which Fianna Fáil did at the time of the financial crash over a decade ago.
“My colleague Deputy Eoin Ó Broin has written to the Taoiseach to clarify if Deputy MacSharry’s remarks are representative of the policies of Fianna Fáil and of the current government.
“I would add to this that Deputy MacSharry should himself clarify his comments, and to what and to whom he was referring.
“Was he attacking workers in his own constituency, such as those working at IT Sligo, was he attacking workers in Sligo University Hospital, was he attacking workers at the HSE National Recruitment Service in Leitrim, was he attacking primary and secondary school teachers from across Sligo and Leitrim?
“The reality is there is no basis in fact for his comments, other than some nonsensical rambling story of having to leave a voice message when he contacted a state agency.
“While Deputy MacSharry sits in the Dáil voting for €16,000 pay increases for his government colleagues, I can tell him that public sector workers have had their shoulder to the wheel all throughout this crisis.
“If Deputy McSharry thinks these workers were sitting around watching box sets, I suggest he step outside the little bubble he lives in and speak to people in the real world.”