Former Taoiseach Mr Varadkar is now Tanaiste, or deputy Prime Minister, in accordance with a coalition deal struck between his Fine Gael party, Fianna Fail and the Greens, with Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin replacing him in the top job. Mr Varadkar apologised for his “errors of judgment” in the Dail, equivalent to the House of Commons, on Tuesday.
He admitted to posting a copy of the document to the National Association of General Practitioners’ president Dr Maitiu O Tuathail, on a confidential basis.
A Sinn Fein spokesman insisted the party had “no choice” other than to table the motion “given the seriousness” of the situatio.
The spokesman stressed Mr Varadkar “has faced no sanction, nor has he given a credible account for his actions in providing confidential information to a friend”.
They added: “The Dail must lay down a marker that doing favours or giving preferential treatment to a circle of insiders is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
“Neither Leo Varadkar nor Fine Gael can be above sanction for such a serious breach of conduct whilst he occupied the highest office in the State.
“This motion will allow the Dail to say to the people that no one is above being held to account and that there are consequences when you act as Leo Vardakar has done.
“Without accountability we will not end the culture exemplified by Fine Gael where the priority is who you know, not the public interest.”
Mr Varadkar’s spokesperson said: “The Tanaiste dealt with all the issues in the Dail this week.
“This motion clearly shows that Sinn Fein isn’t interested in the truth.
“They’re only interested in political mudslinging, attacking the Irish Government at a time of national crisis and diverting attention from the unanswered questions about their receipt of public money in the North.”
Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, defended Mr Varadkar, stressing she retained confidence in the 41-year-old.
She said she had worked well with him up to now and continues to do so.
The Green Party Deputy Leader Eamon Ryan said Mr Varadkar had admitted what happened was inappropriate and had apologised for this.
Published at Fri, 06 Nov 2020 13:32:00 +0000