Updated 17th June: 11am
The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty have clashed in a series of personal attacks on each other in the Dail today.
The Donegal Deputy slammed the Fine Gael leader for hosting a dinner celebrating Fine Gael’s ten years in power.
The Tánaiste hit back saying Sinn Féin charges €1,000 a plate for dinners it hosts in America.
The no-holds-barred encounter took place during Leader’s Questions.
Deputy Doherty then brought up the issue of corruption allegations against the Tánaiste currently being reviewed by the DPP.
“I really thought somebody who, the DPP is currently assessing whether they will prosecute you under the Corruption Act, maybe you would be a bit more humble in your response,” he said.
However, Minster Varadkar refused to end the exchanges and then accused Deputy Doherty of being prosecuted as a younger man.
“I think that was another cheap shot and a very personal shot and it says a lot of about you and the nature and character of the person you are,” he said.
“It is particularly strange coming from you because you were prosecuted.
“You abused and mistreated a Garda Síochána. For that you were prosecuted. You were found guilty. Yes, you got away without a conviction because of your age at the time but you were actually prosecuted. You were arrested. That’s what happened to you.
“In your party, there are a huge number of convicted criminals in your party and you wider Republic party.”
He said Sinn Féin counts tax dodgers and “people convicted for murder” within its ranks.
“We also know what your party’s attitude is to rape and paedophiles and what you have done in relation to that,” he said. “Your cheap shots say a lot more about you than they do about me.”
After Deputy Doherty said, “the courts will decide”, the Tánaiste replied: “They decided on you. You were prosecuted. You were taken to court.”
In a statement yesterday evening, Deputy Doherty said: “Almost three decades ago I was involved in a very minor breach of the peace in Dublin city centre. It was dealt with under the probation act. It has been covered in the media on numerous occasions.
“The fact that the Tánaiste has to grasp for this to cover his decade long failure in government is very telling. He would be better off doing his job and supporting people who can’t heat their home or put diesel in their car to get to work,” he said.