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Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein are 'living the high life in America' - Joan Burton

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NEW TAX RATE: From left; Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse Doherty, deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald and Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams. The party proposes an increase in the top rate of income tax to 48pc. Photo: Tom Burke

NEW TAX RATE: From left; Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse Doherty, deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald and Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams. The party proposes an increase in the top rate of income tax to 48pc. Photo: Tom Burke

Labour leader Joan Burton,TD ,Tanaiste  and  Minister for Social Protection

Labour leader Joan Burton,TD ,Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection

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NEW TAX RATE: From left; Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse Doherty, deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald and Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams. The party proposes an increase in the top rate of income tax to 48pc. Photo: Tom Burke

LABOUR leader Joan Burton today launched a blistering attack on Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein accusing them of "living the high life in America".

In sharp Dail exchanges over water charges with Sinn Fein deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald, the Labour leader said Gerry Adams was tonight hosting a €500 per head party fundraising dinner in New York.

"That is significantly more than what an ordinary family would pay in water charges for a year," Ms Burton said.

The Labour leader added that the Sinn Fein leadership lived "the high life" overseas - and then reverted to "ordinary life" in Ireland.

Ms Burton said Gerry Adams had revealed on RTE radio yesterday that he had no real knowledge of how the Irish economy worked. He then departed for a lavish occasion in the USA where he also regularly goes for medical treatment.

She said Sinn Fein TDs had dramatically changed their stance on water charges in recent days - reversing their stance of a month ago when they had admitted they would pay the charges.

Mary Lou McDonald countered that "Sinn Fein lived in the real world" and that meant meeting countless numbers of people who did not have the money to pay water charges.

The SF deputy leader said she did not have difficulty paying the charges herself but many people faced stark choices between things like buying shoes for their children and paying the water bill.

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