#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 4°C Monday 19 April 2021

Mary Lou keeps her promise to write a letter to Varadkar

The pair had clashed over the government’s commitment to the North.

SINN FÉIN DEPUTY Leader Mary Lou McDonald has kept a promise she made to the Taoiseach in the midst of a row between herself and Leo Varadkar yesterday.

The Dáil clash saw McDonald asked to leave the chamber by acting Ceann Comhairle Alan Farrell.

The pair had locked heads over the government’s commitment to the North.

McDonald asked the Taoiseach what he would like Sinn Féin to compromise on in the north, and said she would write to the Taoiseach for a reply to her question. However, the jibes didn’t end there.

“It is not a laughing matter,” she said to Varadkar, adding that she was not laughing at the Taoiseach.

“I am laughing at the Deputy, not the issue. The Deputy is very cranky today,” replied the Taoiseach.

McDonald said: “I am not cranky at all. I find the Taoiseach facile and dismissive on important issues.”

PastedImage-16214 Source: Sinn Fein


Farrell urged the back and forth to cease, adding: “The Deputy is on her feet, she may as well leave.”

“I’m leaving anyway,” she replied.

As she left, McDonald stopped in front of his bench told Varadkar she would “write him a letter”.


The letter expands on what McDonald was saying to Varadkar in the Dáil.

It says that the government’s attitude towards the Good Friday Agreement and Stormont Executive “raised serious concern”.

She said that Varadkar appears “to suggest Sinn Féin abandon [sic] our pursuit of the rights and entitlements” needed to negotiate up North.

She goes on to seek clarification on:

  • Whether the government supports an Irish Language Act in the North
  • Whether the government supports funding for legacy inquests
  • Whether the government supports a Bill of Rights in Northern Ireland

Harsh words have been exchanged between the pair in recent days, with the Taoiseach yesterday accusing McDonald of being scripted, and stating that she reminds him of Marine Le Pen.

A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said:

“The Taoiseach is attending an important EU summit in Tallinn. He will read and respond to Deputy McDonald’s letter in due course.”

Read: Clash in Dáil sees Mary Lou leave chamber after jibes from Taoiseach

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel