Verona Murphy has said that Simon Harris will likely go down in history as "one of the worst Ministers for Health".
The former Fine Gael candidate was responding to comments made by Minister Harris today following her deselection to contest the next General Election for the party.
Minister Harris said "if Fine Gael sought to silence her we well and truly failed" and that the decision to deselect Ms Murphy "is looking better by the moment".
He said: "I think anybody who engages in stoking, what I believe are unfounded racist fears, has no place in the Fine Gael party."
Speaking to Ivan Yates on The Hard Shoulder, Ms Murphy said Minister Harris was "deflecting from his own ineptitude".
Ms Murphy, who is still a member of Fine Gael, unsuccessfully ran as a candidate in the recent by-election in Wexford.
She caused controversy during the campaign by suggesting some asylum seekers needed to be "deprogrammed".
"Never intended to cause offence"
Ms Murphy, who is the head of the Irish Road Hauliers Association, subsequently apologised for her comments.
She said her comments were about security issues and illegal migration and that she "never intended to cause offence".
She said: "We have unrestricted migrants breaking into trailers entering the country without documentation; it wouldn't happen anywhere else."
She added that some people have not sought asylum here and rather have "absconded".
“What you have there is probably one of the worst Ministers for Health. He’ll probably go down in history deflecting from his own ineptitude” - @VeronaMurphyFG gives her reaction to comments made about her by @SimonHarrisTD | The Hard Shoulder @IvanYatesNT pic.twitter.com/jQF2GwaVDu
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) December 19, 2019
Ms Murphy said: "I can't walk around New York or Paris without carrying my passport and identification, these people don't have identification."
There are "security lacks" caused by the "unrestricted migrant population", she said.
She said: "Are we going to do something about it or are we going to wait until something happens?"
She said she had experience of these issues due to her position with the Irish Road Hauliers Association and had been "at the coalface" of security discussions across Ireland and Europe.
However, she commented: "I don’t want to be incendiary because I'm not racist and I don't want to make remarks that will be interpreted; it's the season of goodwill.
A 'brutal' six weeks
With regards to her campaign as a Fine Gael candidate, Ms Murphy said she was placed under a media ban by the party.
"I did what I was asked by the party...I abided by the rules.
She said that she was informed of her deselection by the party by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe who said the reason was due to "too many differences in opinion".
She said the party did not want her raising issues about a rural and urban divide.
She described the process as "brutal" and that the last six weeks had been "grueling".
Ms Murphy did not rule out running as an Independent candidate in the next election, however, she said she would have to "take stock" over Christmas before making a decision.
She added: "A this stage, it's a chapter that's closed, I'm going to turn the page."
"My story is just beginning and I'm going to look at that over Christmas.
Ms Murphy said she had learned from her experience in running in the by-election and would be "more careful in the future".