By Daniel McConnell Political Editor
Sinn Féin's deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has said she still thinks convicted tax evader Thomas Slab Murphy is a 'good republican', having refused to do so several times last week.
Speaking on Newstalk radio this morning, Ms McDonald became emroiled in a heated spat with Fine Gael MEP and Director of Elections Brian Hayes, whom she described as a “gurrier”.
Speaking in the context of the gangland murder at the Regency Hotel in Whitehall on Friday, Ms McDonald was pressed about Sinn Féin's call to abolish the Special Criminal Court.
Then Mr Hayes repeatedly asked her whether she still felt Mr Murphy was a 'good republican' and the exchange became very heated.
“Do you still think Tom Murphy is a good republican, for the fifth time?” Mr Hayes said.
At this point, Ms McDonald claimed she was being harrangued on air by Mr Hayes. She then called him a "gurrier" several times.
Sources have said that the heated exchange continued during a commercial break, and it has been claimed that an irate Ms McDonald left the studio without a formal goodbye.
The Irish Examiner has sought comment from Ms McDonald and from the Sinn Fein press office in relation to the exchange without success.