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O'Dea says Greens are 'corrosive' and must stop tweeting

Former Defence Minister Willie O'Dea last night launched a savage attack on the Green Party describing the behaviour of the junior coalition partners as "corrosive" to Government.

Mr O'Dea also said the Government's failure to hold a by-election after 15 months was "undemocratic".

And he confirmed he will definitely be running in the next general election, despite some advice that he should retire from politics.

"My wife told me I should quit while I'm behind," he joked.

After being forced to resign when the Greens performed a dramatic U-turn on their backing of him, the Limerick TD said the party had acted on a rumour in Leinster House about further revelations.

"I do think the Greens behaved very, very shabbily," he said.

"I don't bear any particular grudge."

But Mr O'Dea was highly critical of senior figures in the Greens trying to distance the party from unpopular Government decisions.

"It is very corrosive for government. You can't run a Government properly on that basis," he said.

"You run a Government on the basis of trust," he added.

Greens Senator Dan Boyle is well known for his independent comments, but Mr O'Dea said he was surprised to hear he was being authorised to do so by his party leadership.

"I think the Greens should be told to stop tweeting," he said.

Mr O'Dea said the Greens were trying to suggest the decisions being taken were nothing to do with them as they were "on the side of the angels" and it was the "Fianna Fail gangsters doing it".

The former minister said the carbon tax was an ideological tax brought in by the Greens.

"It's part of the Programme for Government and I can tell you it was something I argued against. If you start imposing taxes on ideological grounds, you hit the poorest," he said.

Mr O'Dea accepted he was wrong to suggest a Sinn Fein councillor was involved with the operation of a brothel in Limerick.

"I said something about somebody that wasn't correct and I shouldn't have done that," he said.

He also said the Donegal South-West by-election should be held early next year, as the focus should be on passing the budget.

"It is undemocratic the constituency remains without representation after 15 months," he said, but O'Dea admitted Fianna Fail would not win any of the three by-elections.