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Varadkar apologised for sharing a copy of the contract to a GP group

As expected, the day was not that smooth for the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. He was taken for a roller-coaster ride by the opposition parties in the Dáil.

Varadkar has apologised in the Dáil for sharing a copy of a contract of negotiation through sharing the government and the IMO to a GP group during April, 2019.

Mr Varadkar said that he doesn’t have any personal gain by sharing the document. He precisely said this because there were accusations which said that Varadkar has done this for personal gain. He said those sorts of allegations are false and deeply offensive.

He added that he was looking forward to use his influence to secure a new and better contract for GPs and also added that he has shown special interest in the deal and was determined to get the deal done.

Varadkar also pointed out that the details of the mentioned deal with the Irish Medical Organisation were in the public domain before April 6, 2019.

He said that it was on 15th of April that he posted a copy of the document to Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail, NAGP president and he also added that there is nothing wrong in having informal contacts with business people.

In between Mr Varadkar also accepted that sharing the GP contract to the president of NAGP through an unofficial communication was not a good practice and said that it was an error from his part. He also took sole responsibility for this.

“Sorry for the controversy and the annoyance that his actions have caused” he said.

Meanwhile, Varadkar also added that he is always readded that he is always read and willing to help people, but never gives special weightage or advantages to anyone.

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty said “this is favour for friends” and he “doesn’t buy his analysis on it”.

On replying to Mr Doherty, Varadkar said that the document was supplied to Dr Ó Tuathail on a confidential basis and also added that he gave the document to Dr Ó Tuathail because he was the president and not on the basis of friendship relations.

Mr Doherty asked several questions centering this point and Varadkar answerd them all. He asked whether Dr Ó Tuathail asked for the document or was it Varadkar’s personal interest.

As a reply to this Varadkar replied that Dr Ó Tuathail had requested a copy of the document.

He also added that he shared the details with Dr Ó Tuathail in confidence, because the Cabinet approved the deal and all he was looking was to get maximum support from the GP community. 

 Labour’s Aodhán Ó Ríordáin also questioned Mr Varadkar’s friendship with Dr Ó Tuathail and also said that the Tánaiste’s story is not that convincing.

Even the Independent TD Mattie McGrath said he was astounded by the Tánaiste’s answers.

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