Tánaiste Micheál Martin has accused People Before Profit of being “jackboot” in an angry Dáil exchange.
Paul Murphy asked Minister Martin about an upcoming consultative forum on Irish neutrality and defence policy.
Deputy Murphy said far too many attendees had links with NATO and there was only one who could be described as “anti-war”.
He asked whether the list “gave the entire game away?” - something that elicited an angry response from the Tánaiste.
“It is a sickening form of politics that you engage in, Deputy Murphy” he said.
“I find it abhorrent and a more sinister element behind it is to snuff out debate.
“You talk about freedom of speech and so on in Tunisia; you’re nowhere near that. I’m not suggesting it.
“But what you are trying to suggest is [that] people can’t speak because they have a view - that is what you are saying.
“They should not be allowed [to] speak; if there’s up to 50 or 60 speakers, if one or two have views that are contrary then they should not speak.
“That is intolerance, you guys are no great advocates of freedom of speech at all.
“And I shudder to think of the day when you would ever be in authority because by God would you put the jackboot onto people who might have views different to you.”
Richard Boyd Barrett heckled that this was a “shocking statement” and Deputy Murphy asked the Tánaiste to withdraw the remark.
Minister Martin said he would not withdraw it on the grounds, “We are in a parliament. I believe fundamentally in the right of freedom of expression in this Parliament.”
He added that Deputy Murphy had “just made an assertion that certain people should not be on a platform”, to which the Dublin South-West TD told him to, “Stop lying about what we said.”
Leas-Cheann Comhairle Catherine Connolly asked the Tánaiste to “reflect on the use of the phrase ‘putting the jackboot in’” which she said was “unparliamentary language”.
Minister Martin replied, “In the interests of civility, I will take back the word ‘jackboot’” but asked for the matter to be referred to the procedures committee.
Main image: Split of Micheál Martin and Paul Murphy