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28/10/2021

WATCH: 'Not all of us padres are toxic,' Carlow priest hits back over Taoiseach's remarks

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar made the remarks in the Dáil this week

Carlow Carlow Carlow

Leo Varadkar in the Dáil

Carlow born priest Fr Paddy Bryne has hit back over remarks made by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dáil this week. 

The Taoiseach likened Micheál Martin to a priest sinning "behind the altar" during a Dáil exchange about the cost of capital projects.

The Fianna Fáil leader was questioning the Taoiseach about the potential for overspending on the Dunkettle Interchange and other similar projects.

"Nothing is happening on the site and people are mystified as to what is going on," Deputy Martin said and he added that he has been met with "obfuscation after obfuscation" when looking for clarity on these projects and he asked Mr Varadkar to provide it.

In response, the Taoiseach compared Deputy Martin to a priest engaging in sin "behind the altar".

"I am always amused and bemused that Deputy Martin likes to accuse me of being partisan and personal yet, as evidenced by his name-calling today, he is very capable of being partisan and personalised himself," the Taoiseach said.

"He kind of reminds me of one of those parish priests who preaches from the altar telling us to avoid sin while secretly going behind the altar and engaging in any amount of sin himself."

Fr Byrne from Carlow, who is the parish priest in Abbeyleix, hit back on social media and said: "Taoiseach not all of us padres are toxic.

"Most of us contribute to our local communities with generosity and compassion. This is shameful for a head of state to take a populist attack on a minority."

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