From top: Taoiseach Micheál Martin addressing the Dáil yesterday; Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’ Callaghan
On RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne.
Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan spoke to Claire Byrne about Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s address in the Dáil last night and his apology for posting a contract negotiated between the Government and the Irish Medical Organisation to former National Association of General Practitioners’ president Dr Maitiú O Tuathail in April 2019.
Deputy O’Callaghan said:
“On a day, such as today, I don’t think we should sit back and accept a contorted political narrative for the sake of political convenience.
“And I also think, as a Fianna Fáil TD, it’s important that Fianna Fáil calls out something when it’s wrong and that we don’t shy away from it because of political inconvenience.”
He doesn’t believe Leo Varadkar should resign and he doesn’t regard it as an “Agatha Christie mystery where we’re trying to find out everything”.
But he said:
“I think he would have solved issues for himself had he simply said I disclosed a confidential document, I shouldn’t have done that, I was wrong, I apologise for it and move on.”
“I regard it [the situation] as a political issue and, from the Government’s point of view, I want to see it resolved and I want to see people moving on from it.”
Later, Deputy O’Callaghan said:
“I’m not accusing him of saying untruths or something like that but his explanation, let’s be frank about it, has inconsistencies within it. And that’s why I say that politicians shouldn’t demean themselves by trying to stand over a defence which has a lot of holes in it.
“Like, for instance, he told the Dail yesterday that he asked the Department of Health for the document, why didn’t he just ask the Department of Health to send it out to the NAGP and Dr O’Tuaithail. Why wasn’t it emailed? We live in an age where documents are emailed.
“Why was there no covering letter with it? Why was it sent to the home address? Why was part of the front page redacted? All of these seem to suggest that the Tanaiste was trying to disguise his role in giving out this document.
“So like, these are issues that are going to be raised as a result of the contorted defence he has put forward.”
Earlier: Getting The Deal Done