Sinn Féin deputy Dáil leader Pearse Doherty TD has described Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s handling of the allegations surrounding former Minister Agriculture Barry Cowen as chaotic and a failure of leadership.
He said it is incredible that the Taoiseach did not challenge the failure of the former Minister to make a full disclosure to the Dáil, when the Taoiseach had been aware of the matter for more than 10 days.
Teachta Doherty said:
“At 2pm this afternoon the Taoiseach stood up in the Dáil and defended Barry Cowen.
“It was clear from questioning from Mary Lou McDonald that the Taoiseach had been aware for ten days that there was a Garda record alleging that Barry Cowen had attempted to evade a Garda checkpoint.
“The Taoiseach said he saw this record this morning.
“Despite this, the Taoiseach did not challenge Barry Cowen’s failure to make a full disclosure to the Dáil.
“The Taoiseach needs to explain what happened between 2pm this afternoon and the sacking of Barry Cowen this evening, other than the Taoiseach himself had been dragged into the mess.
“The Taoiseach has questions to answer.
“Why did he not challenge Barry Cowen on making an incomplete statement to the Dáil?
“Why did he back Barry Cowen despite seeing the Garda PULSE record this morning?
“This chaos needs to end. There are important issues that need to be addressed – issues such as affordable housing, getting people back to work, profiteering by banks from the Covid-19 crisis and extending maternity leave.”