Tánaiste hits out over Megraw when challenged on McNulty

SF’s McDonald asked Burton if she was satisfied with Kenny’s response to Imma row

Labour Leader and Tánaiste Joan Burton  said her objective was to ensure that a long-standing Labour Party policy in relation to an application process for a State board would be adopted. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Labour Leader and Tánaiste Joan Burton said her objective was to ensure that a long-standing Labour Party policy in relation to an application process for a State board would be adopted. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

 

Tánaiste Joan Burton highlighted the discovery of a body believed to be that of Brendan Megraw, “disappeared” in 1978 by the IRA, when she was challenged by Sinn Féin about the controversy over John McNulty and the Seanad elections.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald had asked Ms Burton whether she was satisfied with the Taoiseach’s response to the controversy about Mr McNulty’s appointment to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art in advance of the Seanad byelection.

Ms Burton said: “In the day that’s in it, when we have the body of a young man finally being found for his distraught family, the action of the Taoiseach of this country taking responsibility in relation to something where he has acknowledged there was definite wrong, is in marked contrast to the absence of your own leader in relation to a very young man who has spent a very long time in a lonely grave.

She added: “Your moral tone of outrage when you have nothing to say on what has been revealed in that bog in Meath means that you certainly have two separate sets of standards - unless you want to clarify that now.”

Ms McDonald replied that the Taoiseach’s response was one of “studied incoherence and yours is one of studied evasion”.

Ms Burton said her objective was to ensure that a long-standing Labour Party policy in relation to an application process for a State board would be adopted.

She said the Taoiseach made some comments of apology and explanation, and she welcomed that.

Independent TD Mick Wallace called for the Labour Party to leave Government and for a general election to be held.

Mr Wallace said: “The people would like Enda’s head on a plate and you can deliver that. There is huge anger on the streets. Are you okay with that?”

Ms Burton said the statistics showed that income inequality had reduced, with a reduction of €10 billion in relation to bank debt and €40 billion in contingent liabilities. “We now have so many people going back to work,” she added.