Independent Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae has accused politicians of engaging in a witch-hunt against Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen in relation to his 2016 drink-driving ban.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Healy-Rae said: "If they don't stop all this, then it will be a thing of 'public interest' - it will be a witch-hunt.
"Why, in the name of God, did politicians look for the right to question him in the Dail? I thought that was outrageous. What did they want to question him about?
"The man made an apology. I believe it was very heartfelt. I believe he was genuinely sorry and remorseful. Show me a perfect person and I'll show you a liar."
Healy-Rae said that people in farming, fishing and forestry industries "are only interested in what he is going to do for the next 12 months in his department. They are not interested in that incident".
A member of Kerry's most well-known political family, Healy-Rae added that if there was an outbreak of Covid-19 in Dublin, he didn't want "Ireland to shut down again. I'd want Dublin to shut down. Or, if we have an outbreak in Donegal, we shouldn't have to shut down Clare."
Reflecting on the first weeks in office of Micheal Martin, Healy-Rae said the new Taoiseach is "like a racehorse that has been in training for years and years, and is finally in the Grand National. The first thing that happened was his stirrups broke, then his stick broke, then the horse got a sore leg. And everything that could happen to that horse has happened.
"It's a rocky start. It's like Murphy's law. When one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong."
One of the first meetings he had after the general election was with Sinn Fein.
"I'm not a knocker of Sinn Fein," Healy-Rae said, adding that he would be "very close personally to some of the people who are involved in the party".
However, he was "very fearful" of a lot of Sinn Fein's financial policies. "We can't afford what they want. There is no such thing as a free lunch. You can't say we'll have a house for every one in the country that wants to be given a State-owned house.
"Let's put it this way: I would be afraid of a lot of what Sinn Fein would propose to do if they were in power. I'm worried that they are not enough for business.
"You can't give everything. We are a small country. We have to pay our way. We have to make enough money to pay our taxes so that if someone is old or sick, that we are able to take care of them. I'm really paranoid about that."
He is not, he said, "into the negative politics. There are business people who, the only time their name is mentioned in the Dail is in a negative way. These are people who employ thousands and thousands of people. What do these politicians want them to do? Bail out of Ireland and take their jobs with them and go to the south of Spain? It is like a race to the bottom."
First elected to the Dail in 2011, Healy-Rae said he has become used to negative sentiments towards him when he's in the capital.
"Sure, there are loads of people who wouldn't like me," he said, describing himself in Dublin as "like Crocodile Dundee when he came to New York. He had to climb up on the pole to have a look. Well, I'm a bit like that around Dublin."