'Cheap shots': Fianna Fáil bats away Varadkar's 'predator' comments

'Cheap shots': Fianna Fáil bats away Varadkar's  'predator' comments
Leo Varadkar, during a previous count at the RDS in Dublin.

Fianna Fáil is describing the Taoiseach's comments about the party at last night's Presidential dinner as "cheap shots".

Leo Varadkar said Fianna Fáil is making promises to everyone, everywhere, without solutions or policies.

Mr Varadkar also pointed to the Green Party's Tweets about repopulating rural Ireland with wolves, saying he thought their experience of government with Fianna Fáil would have warned them off dangerous predators.

Meath East TD Thomas Byrne countered the remarks this morning, saying Fine Gael had a very high opinions of themselves.

"Fianna Fáil have taken our role in the confidence and supply arrangement seriously. We recognise the danger to the country that Brexit (represents). We have given the Government the time and space to conduct the negotiations professionally

"I'd strongly urge the Taoiseach to concentrate on that rather than taking cheap shots at the Opposition."

Earlier: Ireland 'on right track' as Budget and Brexit loom: Varadkar

The Taoiseach has said that Ireland is on the "right track" as we head towards next Tuesday's Budget*.

Speaking in Dublin last night, Leo Varadkar told his party's Presidential Dinner that we have a strong economy, full employment and rising incomes.

On Brexit he reiterated that the Government wants a deal - but not at any cost - while on the General Election, he told his party he believes Fine Gael can win.

This was Leo Varadkar's third Presidential Dinner as Fine Gael leader and the final one before the next General Election.

By then he said, the Government would have either secured a Brexit deal or, if not, would have guided the country through the worst of a no-deal scenario.

He pointed to The Green Party's tweets about repopulating rural Ireland with wolves, saying he thought their experience of government with Fianna Fáil would have warned them off dangerous predators, then added that he'd "sooner back the wolves" than let Sinn Féin into Government.

On the Budget and Brexit, the Taoiseach said the Government has a twin-track approach to get a deal and if that's not possible, to use a prudent Budget to get the country through, while protecting peace on the island, and our place in the single market.

*Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will deliver his Budget 2020 speech in the Dáil from 1pm next Tuesday.

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