Ugly scenes in Dail as Taoiseach and McDonald clash over ‘corruption’ claims

There were ugly scenes in the Dail on Wednesday as a row about housing descended into accusations of corruption between the Irish premier and the Sinn Fein leader.

During leaders’ questions, Taoiseach Micheal Martin offered an angry riposte after Mary Lou McDonald claimed his party had a historic “corrupt” relationship with the private construction industry.

Mr Martin said: “You are the last party to talk to anybody about corruption. Because your party corrupted public life in this country for well on 40 years to a far greater degree than any other party in this country.

“You corrupted the moral code of our country and our society, for the murder and mayhem that you perpetrated and that you still endorse deputy, that you still endorse.

“You still support the narrative of murder and mayhem and you also support the undermining of women who were raped by IRA volunteers and your party covered it up.

“So do not come into this house and lead with your chin, telling everybody else or telling this party that we were corrupt. We had faults and flaws, no doubt about it. But we faced up to it.

“You consistently try and rewrite the narrative and bury the truth of the level of corruption your party engages in.”

Mrs McDonald hit back during his comments, calling them “pathetic” and shouting “Ansbacher”, a reference to the financial scandal that overshadowed Irish politics at the turn of the century.

The barbed attacks came as the Sinn Fein leader once again took aim…

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