Gerry Adams was left floundering last night when Micheal Martin pointed to his IRA past, accusing him of leading "a campaign of murder".
The Sinn Fein president once again lost a live TV debate as the Fianna Fail leader beat him comprehensibly on RTE 'Prime Time's' opposition leaders' head-to-head.
Mr Adams's efforts to attack Mr Martin backfired as he pointed out the former minister was "in power for 14 years".
But Mr Martin hit back, directly referring to Mr Adams's past as a leader of the IRA.
"You know about my past. You have never acknowledged your past. You lead an organisation that carried out a campaign of murder," he said.
Mr Martin was wearing the badge of the organisation supporting the families of people murdered by the IRA and whose bodies were then hidden, 'Justice for the Disappeared'.
The search for the body of Colomba McVeigh, one of the so-called 'Disappeared', resumed in Co Monaghan today.
Mr Adams and Mr Martin also traded blows on policy.
Mr Adams said the Government was merely implementing Fianna Fail policy.
Mr Martin said Sinn Fein failed to table amendments to legislation and accused Mr Adams of being "ineffective in your parliamentary performance".
Mr Adams has a long record of performing poorly in leaders' debates.