THOMAS Pringle has slammed the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, for failing to reveal his actions in relation to the GP pay deal until it appeared in the news.
Deputy Pringle was questioning Tánaiste Leo Varadkar in the Dáil on Tuesday evening on his passing on the pay deal agreed with the Irish Medical Organisation to a friend of the Tánaiste’s, Dr Maitiu Ó Tuathail, who was then head of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP).
Deputy Pringle said: “You must be very happy to have this opportunity tonight to be able to put so many documents on the record of the Dáil, to show how much you had the public interest in mind in relation to carrying out this leak.
“I was just wondering why you did not put these contacts on record between April 2019 and October 2020, if they were of such a good service to the people?”
In response, the Tánaiste said it wasn’t something ‘at issue’.
“You weren’t caught,” Deputy Pringle said. “That’s why it wasn’t put on the record. You said it wasn’t something of issue. It wasn’t of issue because nobody knew about it. Once people know about it, then it becomes of issue.”
The Tánaiste said in his response that if he had been asked about it, he would have put it on the record.
Deputy Pringle said: “You said in your response that if you had been asked about it, you would have put it on the record. So it’s only if we can ask ‘the right questions’ you’ll actually answer them and put anything on the record.”
Deputy Pringle said he accepted the Tánaiste’s statement that there was no personal gain for him in passing on the information.
The Killybegs-based Independent TD noted that the pay deal information was passed on the month before the 2019 local elections.
Earlier, NAGP had threatened to tell its members to campaign against Fine Gael. In the end, Fine Gael saw 20 more councillors and one more MEP elected in 2019.
The Donegal Deputy said he believed this could have been a motivating factor.
He said: “I think it’s no coincidence this happened in April, and the elections were in May.”Tags: