Belfast Telegraph

Adams heckled over claim cabinet drink €30 bottles of wine

Taoiseach claims Adams 'Irish politics great misleader' over claims SF chief blocked NI deal

By Jonathan Bell

Gerry Adams drew heckles in the Dail after claiming that members of the Irish government spent 30 euros on bottles of wine.

Addressing Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during leaders' questions, the Sinn Fein President was discussing pension cuts for thousands of men and women.

"Do you accept that the 2012 cut is unjust? Do you accept that these people are entitled to full pensions? Do you accept that they cannot afford... I mean 30 euro is a bottle of wine or some such ornamentation for the people in the cabinet," he said.

Mr Varadkar described it as "extraordinary" Mr Adams did not understand the detail of the government's proposals, or indeed his own party's.

"It is so evident every time he speaks," said the Taoiseach, "he doesn't understand the issues the government is grappling with, nor does he understand his own party's proposals.

"It is extraordinary the level of lack of knowledge.... it isn't surprising he thinks a bottle of wine is 30 euro.

"I know the deputy likes to travel first class whenever he can find someone to pay for it.... but it must be some bottle of wine."

Earlier in the debate Gerry Adams was accused of being "the great misleader" of Irish politics by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Gerry Adams claimed Mr Varadkar had "misled" the Dail over comments made about Sinn Fein's health proposals.

He also said the Fine Gael leader had given an "entirely untruthful" account of the Northern Ireland talks process in government briefings to The Irish Times and in an interview with the Irish Examiner.

On Wednesday, The Irish Times reported Michelle O'Neill was blocked from making a deal with the DUP by senior Sinn Fein members, something the MLA rejected.

Describing Sinn Fein's proposed health policies as like "asking people to buy a pig in a poke," the Taoiseach denied he had misled the Dail on his comments on them. He did not address the matter of the press briefings.

"You are the great misleader - let nobody be in any doubt about that," he said.

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