Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said that comments made Labour's Pat Rabbitte about the women on his frontbench are offensive and dismissive.
Mr Martin said he is disappointed and surprised at Deputy Rabbitte's remarks on the use of candidates Averil Power and Mary Fitzpatrick as party spokespeople.
In a radio interview Deputy Rabbitte said Mr Martin may as well have wandered down to Grafton Street and asked a couple of good-looking women to see if they wanted to be in the photograph for a job that is only for four weeks.
The Fianna Fáil leader accused Labour leader Eamon Gilmore of essentially condoning the comments, and he called on Deputy Rabbitte to issue a fulsome apology.
"I think they (Deputy Rabbitte's comments) were dismissive to women," Mr Martin said, "and also to people who are not elected representatives.