Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

18.04 9 Nov 2020


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The Housing Minister has suggested the controversy over Leo Varadkar's sharing of a confidential document has been "dragged into another week for political reasons".

Darragh O'Brien has claimed a motion of no confidence in the Tánaiste is an attempt to "score political points".

TDs will tomorrow debate a Sinn Féin motion of no confidence in Mr Varadkar.

It comes after the Fine Gael leader confirmed he had sent a confidential GP agreement to the head of the NAGP while he was Taoiseach.

Sinn Féin's Eoin Ó Broin has said his party's motion of no confidence is about highlighting the way the Government does its business.

However, Fianna Fáil's Darragh O'Brien told The Hard Shoulder he'll be supporting his Cabinet colleague in the vote.

He said: "Any political party has a right to do this - but I think why everyone knows why Sinn Féin has done this.

"It's just to bring it into another week - it's not really to do anything other than try to score political points."

The Housing Minister said he's "not giving out" about the opposition using their Dáil time for this motion.

However, he argued it means there is other Dáil business that won't be done this week due to the motion of no confidence, and that he believes there are "many, many other issues" TDs should be looking at instead.

He said the Tánaiste was 'very clear' about the controversy during a statement and debate in the Dáil last week.

Alleged meetings

Meanwhile, a magazine which alleged Leo Varadkar lied to the Dáil has been criticised by a spokesperson for the Tánaiste.

Village magazine - which initially revealed details of the sharing of the GP agreement - has claimed Varadkar met Dr Matt Ó Tuathail at least ten times last year, around the dates he passed on the confidential contract to him.

Mr Varadkar told the Dáil that Dr Ó Tuathail was the kind of friend 'that you meet two or three times a year'.

However, a spokesperson for the Tánaiste today said many of the alleged encounters did not happen.

Spokespeople for Ministers Paschal Donohoe and Simon Harris also said meetings with them cited in the article never happened.

Additional reporting by Sean Defoe
Main image: File photo of Darragh O'Brien. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

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