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EU Treaty

Kenny 'acted like an eejit' with Sarkozy, insists angry Adams

The first Dáil exchanges since the EU treaty was finalised are angry ones, as Kenny and Adams exchange particularly harsh words.

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has dismissed claims that he acted “like an eejit” when encountering French president Nicolas Sarkozy at yesterday’s European Council meeting in Brussels.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams had said footage and photographs showing Sarkozy ruffling Kenny’s hair at yesterday’s meeting were inappropriate given the matters being discussed and the personnel involved.

“This was at a summit which noted that 23 million people are out of work across the EU, agus tusa ag imirt an amadán leis Sarkozy [and you playing the fool with Sarkozy]“, Adams said.

He added that Kenny had agreed to an “austerity treaty” that hands significant new powers over to the European Court of Justice, and the Eurpean Commission, neither of which were elected bodies.

An angry Kenny responded by launching his most pointed Dáil attack to date on Adams’ alleged role in the Troubles.

“You yourself were buddy buddy with some very shadowy creatures over the last 30 years,” Kenny said. ”Everybody who attends is quite entitled to give good wishes to whoever they meet there.”

To come in here to this house and accuse anybody else of being buddy buddy… at least the world can know that I had not just an altercation before, with President Sarkozy, but yesterday a very convivial conversation.

“You, sir, have never owned up to some of the buddy buddy creatures that you associated with in the next 30 years,” the Taoiseach added.

“I just think it’s inappropriate for a Taoiseach to act like an eejit when he meets the French president,” Adams responded, appealing to TDs from all parties to call for a referendum on the deal.

‘In the dark’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach to urgently publish a public guide to what the treaty hoped to achieve and how it would do so, saying the public had been kept “in the dark for far too long”.

“The people of this country have responded, it has to be said, in a clear, responsible and very resilient matter – and we should trust the people’s judgement,” he said.

“Given the enormity of what has happened over the last few years… do you not think that it’s morally right to consult with the people in relation to this treaty?”

Joe Higgins said the treaty enshrined “permanent austerity” and said the sole goal of last night’s summit was to remove the demand that the deal be explicitly written into the Irish constitution.

Kenny, in response, described his encounter with Sarkozy as “more an attempt than a left hook than a pat on the head”.

Read: Final text of Fiscal Compact deal may allow Ireland to avoid referendum >

More: Opposition parties disappointed in EU treaty >

Caption Competition: What’s Nicolas Sarkozy doing to our Enda?

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