| 5.6°C Dublin

party's anger 'Disgust' among Fianna Fáil members over Taoiseach's handling of Varadkar leak fiasco

Close

Taoiseach Micheal Martin outside Government Buildings in Dublin this morning on his way to a press conference where he is likely to be asked about accusations that the Tanaiste, Leo Varadkar, leaked confidential governement documents (Niall Carson/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin outside Government Buildings in Dublin this morning on his way to a press conference where he is likely to be asked about accusations that the Tanaiste, Leo Varadkar, leaked confidential governement documents (Niall Carson/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin outside Government Buildings in Dublin this morning on his way to a press conference where he is likely to be asked about accusations that the Tanaiste, Leo Varadkar, leaked confidential governement documents (Niall Carson/PA)

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has come under fire from his own party members for his handling of the Leo Varadkar leaking controversy.

At a Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting, Mr Martin was told there was “disgust” and “anger” at his response to the debacle.

Outspoken Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry told the Taoiseach the party’s “credibility was in tatters” because of how he reacted to revelations that Mr Varadkar leaked an unpublished GP contract to his friend Dr Maitiu O Tuathail.

Mr MacSharry said there was not a “six-year old” in the country who “couldn’t see through” what he claimed was the Tánaiste’s “fairy tale” explanation for leaking the document.

Sources said the Sligo-Leitrim TD told the meeting that there is “palpable anger” among Fianna Fáil members to see Mr Martin as a “chief flag flyer” for Mr Varadkar.

He hit out at Mr Martin for what he claimed was “throwing Barry Cowen and Dara Calleary under the bus” when they were involved in controversies during brief stints as agriculture ministers.

Mr MacSharry criticised Mr Martin for his attacks on Sinn Féin saying he resorted to talking about the Troubles when he was challenged by Mary Lou McDonald on the storm surrounding the Tánaiste.

He claimed Mr Martin had “dragged” Fianna Fáil down to 11pc in the polls and he claimed the party leader was “part of the problem. He told the Taoiseach he was “disgusted” with him.

Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill was also critical of the party’s support for Mr Varadkar and said the party was “on its knees”.

Former Minister Mr Cowen, who was sacked over a drink driving offence, said Mr Varadkar has been given due process by the Taoiseach but he had not.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Mr Cowen said the Tánaiste had not called for him to resign during the controversy and rather it was the Taoiseach who sacked him from Cabinet.

The Taoiseach has fully supported the Tánaiste since allegations were first printed in the Village Magazine last Saturday.

Elsewhere Mr Varadkar warned his parliamentary colleagues to be careful who they choose as friends amid the controversy over his decision to leak an unpublished GP contract.

Speaking at a private party meeting, the Fine Gael leader thanked TDs and senators who defended him after it emerged he leaked a confidential document to his GP friend Dr Maitiu O Tuathail.

Mr Varadkar told the meeting they should be careful who they choose as friends given the controversy sparked by his friendship with Dr Ó Tuathail.

A Fine Gael source said the Tánaiste “didn’t even say sorry” for the on going debacle over the leaked document.

“He just thanked people for doing media interviews for him and said be careful with the friends you choose,” the source added.

Another source said there was little discussion about the controversy at the meeting. However, Kildare North TD Bernard Durkan did praise Mr Varadkar’s performance.

During a two hour Dáil grilling, the Tánaiste accused Mr Ó Tuahtail of “over egging” their friend and dismissed suggestions the GP had special access to him.

He described Mr Ó Tuathail as “a friend but not a close friend” and said he made “out to various people that he was closer to me than he was” “That is a big part of what this is about. I am not trying to make out that I am some sort of victim. That is simply the fact,” he added.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy