Saturday 18 November 2017

VIDEO: Willie O'Dea compares Taoiseach to a 'sheep' who 'never had an original thought in his head'

Willie O'Dea
Willie O'Dea

Niall O'Connor and Barry Lennon

Fianna Fail TD Willie O'Dea has compared Taoiseach Enda Kenny to a 'sheep' who he says "never had an original thought in his head".

In a clear heightening of tensions between the two parties, Mr O'Dea said Fine Gael is in panic mode because the party is 'losing' the General Election.

He was responding to a report in the Irish Independent that the Coalition will next become personal and begin attacking former Fianna Fáil ministers.

"You're telling me Enda Kenny is going to focus on people like myself, you're telling me that I'll have to fear the rage of the sheep for the next week," Mr O'Dea said on Saturday.

"Enda Kenny would want to bear one thing in mind. If he comes after me, Micheal Martin, and members of the so-called old guard, it wouldn't be the first time he's tried to kick ass and ended up looking like one.

"You know, it's very hard to take criticism from somebody who, in so far as I can make, never had an original thought in his head, never came up with an original idea, and if he does come up with one in the future, it will be beginners' luck.

I think this is reflective of the fact the government are using the election, they are clearly losing the election, the former defence minister added.

Mr O'Dea made the remarks at Fianna Fail's launch of its policy on the elderly. He was accompanied by party councillors Jim O'Callaghan and Deirdre Heney.

The party has pledged to increase the state pension by €30 over the next five years, as well as raising the living allowance by €15 and abolishing prescription charges.

Meanwhile, Tanaiste Joan Burton attacked Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin saying he was part of the Government that “drove the bus over the cliff.”

Ms Burton added that Mr Martin wants to “pretend he was never there” during the 2007- 2011 Government, which oversaw the financial crisis.

Ms Burton said he is “not a new kid on the block, he's the old Fianna Fail,” as the second weekend of campaigning for the General Election begins.

Fine Gael party strategists told the Irish Independent that it and Labour plan to target the Fianna Fail leader after they accept he won the first full week of campaigning.

Ms Burton today said she intends to have “a very robust debate” the Fianna Fail leader and everyone else.

She also targeted Sinn Fein's policy on USC relief, saying they had “bottled it” when it came the income tax.

Ms Burton said that they were only offering relief for people earning up to €19,600 and left many workers out of the frame.

“You'd need to be on the minimum wage or below it to benefit from the Sinn Fein proposal,” she added.

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