TÁNAISTE Joan Burton labelled a Sinn Féin TD “a bar room brawler” amid rowdy scenes on the Dáil’s last session today.
Ms Burton was defending the Government’s record on health services as she faced stinging criticisms from Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald.
Ms McDonald said Labour in Government had failed to deliver a fair and adequate health service to citizens – despite lavish election promises in 2011.
In response, Ms Burton argued that Sinn Féin’s newly published health service reform policy document contained no costings. She also accused Ms McDonald of reading from a carefully-prepared script criticising the Government.
“Your response lacked any sense of conviction,” Ms Burton said.
Angry scenes ensued with Donegal Sinn Féin TD Pádraig MacLochlainn clashing with county colleague, Dinny McGinley of Fine Gael.
Ms Burton intervened to liken Mr MacLochlainn’s behaviour to that of “a bar room brawler”
There were further angry scenes when Independent Wexford TD Mick Wallace raised the use of Shannon Airport by US troops.
Ms Burton rejected suggestions that Shannon was in fact “a military airport.”