'For God's sake' - Healy-Rae responds to criticism for attending book launch instead of Budget speech
Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae chose not to attend Tuesday's budget speech opting to attend a book campaign launch instead.
The Kerry TD, who is set to launch his own book at the end of the month, took to the stage at the Eason Christmas campaign launch while Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe delivered his speech.
It has sparked criticism from his fellow Kerry TD, Fine Gael's Brendan Griffin, who branded his absence as hypocritical.
"Members of Dáil Éireann should be there to represent their constituents, not be celebrities.
"That the same member would then launch an offensive on those of us who have worked hard on the budgetary process adds further ridicule and hypocrisy to this farce," he said.
Mr Healy-Rae defended the decision to attend the launch, admitting he was running late following a meeting, but made sure to be there for his own speaking time in the Dáil later that evening.
"It was a thing they asked me to call in to so I stopped in on my way up." he said.
"I was there in the chamber but I wasn't there for the minister's speech.
"My speaking time wasn't until that evening, for God's sake," he added.