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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 26 November, 2014

Taoiseach calls on Adams to answer question: Were you a member of IRA?

The Taoiseach criticised the Sinn Féin president’s past during a discussion on salary top-ups for some health executives with Kenny ruling out an independent inquiry at Leaders’ Questions this afternoon.

Enda Kenny in the Dáil this afternoon
Enda Kenny in the Dáil this afternoon
Image: Screengrab via Oireachtas TV

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY called on Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams to clarify “for everybody in this country whether or not you were a member of the IRA”. Kenny also said repeatedly in the Dáil this afternoon, “Nobody believes you, nobody believes you”.

Kenny’s comments came in the middle of a discussion on top-ups to senior executives in some State-funded health agencies with Adams calling for a public inquiry into the matter, saying “citizens want to know what’s happening within our health services” and “money they give to charity”.

Kenny said that the matter would be examined by the HSE and the Public Accounts Committee an which is holding public hearings tomorrow and ruled out a public inquiry, but also criticised Adams.

Raising the Louth TD’s call at the weekend for a debate on the past, Kenny said:

“If you want to have a debate about the past you can start by clarifying for everybody in this country whether or not you were a member of the IRA,” before adding repeatedly: “Nobody believes you, nobody believes you.”

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Kenny said the situation where people are uncertain about where their charitable donations are going and may be in some instances topping up salaries is “scandalous”. He said:

As I said before, the government have made it very clear that unauthorised payments that have breached the public service agreement are not warranted, are not acceptable and the matter has to be sorted out and it will be sorted as quickly as possible.

Earlier, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin called for a change in policy in relation to the health service saying it is “at breaking point” and can “take no more”.

Kenny said that the Minister for Health James Reilly is current considering the HSE service plan for 2014.

“Patient care has got to be the central tenet of that plan and will be,” he insisted saying the emphasis of the Minister would be on protecting frontline services.

Read: Gerry Adams challenges party leaders to a debate on the past

Read: Gerry Adams insists IRA volunteers ‘were doing their duty as they saw it’

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