TÁNAISTE Joan Burton should have “stood up and spoken” out over the damaging findings contained in the Fennelly Commisssion report, according to Social Democrat TD Róisín Shortall.
Ms Shortall launched a scathing attack on Ms Burton and her former party, who she said should have pulled the plug on the coalition much earlier.
The Dublin North West TD said it is clear from the findings by Mr Justice Nial Fenelly that the decision to dispatch former Secretary General of the Department of Justice Brian Purcell to the home of the Garda Commissioner was akin to him being sacked.
But she rounded on Joan Burton over her response to the Fennelly report.
“There are endless occasions where the Labour party should have stood up. A lot of people are disappointed with the Labour’s party failure to speak out when necessary,” Ms Shortall said when asked if she believed Ms Burton should have pulled the plug on the Coalition.
“Fennelly report is one of those occasions, there are serious questions to be answered,” she added.
Ms Shortall made the remarks at the unveiling of five new candidates by the Social Democrats in Dublin yesterday.
The most high profile of these is Limerick senator James Heffernan, who quit Labour previously over what he described as “broken promises”.
Other candidates announced were Dublin City councillor Gary Gannon, Sarah Jane Hennelly (Limerick City), Niall O Tuathail (Galway West/South Mayo) and Anne Marie McNally (Dublin Mid-West).
Ms McNally is the communications manager for Kildare North TD Catherine Murphy, who is a founding member of the Social Democrats along with Ms Shortall and Wicklow/East Carlow TD Stephen Donnelly.
Mr Donnelly said the candidates were all young and able and have shown tremendous courage in declaring for the election.
Meanwhile, the Social Democrats said several more candidates will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Ms Shortall refused to say whether the party has approached Independent TD Tommy Broughan, who like her quit the party in 2012.