Sinn Féin TD Patricia Ryan has reacted angrily to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s defence of his leaking of a confidential document to his friend Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail.
Yesterday in the Dáil Mr Varadkar defended his actions saying that they were “errors of judgement.”
Deputy Ryan said:
“This is not an error of judgement. This is the old boys’ club at work. To defend these actions or to portray them as in the interests of the country is cowardly and patronising.
“The Tánaiste needs to admit that he leaked this document as a favour to a friend, not in the interests of the greater good.
“There are holes in the defence offered by the Tánaiste. He still has questions to answer. His story doesn’t add up.
“He asked the HSE for a copy of the document but didn’t tell them who it was for. He posted it to Dr Ó Tuathail’s home address rather than the office, which is on the same street as Leinster House.
“If he didn’t know what he was doing was wrong, why the secrecy? He claims that the negotiations were complete, yet in his own writing across the top he states, ‘Subject to changes/amendments’. In fact, as my colleague Pearse Doherty pointed out the document was changed after the leak.
“Deputy Varadkar raised more questions than he answered. He spent too long trying to deflect and gave half answers. He couldn’t answer straight questions. He also admitted to leaking additional information. What did he leak and to whom?
“I would call for the Tánaiste to return to the Dáil and answer the questions asked and any further questions that have arisen from his statements on Tuesday.
“When questioned about receiving advice from the Attorney General on Wednesday, Micheál Martin stated he had ‘no intention of embroiling the Attorney General’ and then went off on a tangent about schools, housing and climate change.
“I find it breath-taking that a man who has sat in the Dáil for over thirty years, sat as a minister for four different departments, led his party for almost ten years and has finally achieved his goal of becoming Taoiseach, seems to be unaware of how the process of answering straight questions works.
“His constant Freudian slips of calling the Tánaiste the Taoiseach and his refusal to remove the Tánaiste from office shows where the real power lies.”