Taoiseach hits out at Opposition's 'misplaced priorities' after questions about Govt's Communications Unit

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says opposition parties have misplaced their priorities by focusing on his Strategic Communications Unit.

Both Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin raised the issue at Leaders' Questions in the Dáil this afternoon.

They have called for the unit to be scrapped amid allegations it instructed newspapers to make their ads look like real news.

Mr Varadkar challenged members of the opposition to prove the SCU had done so and he also attacked Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin when he raised the issue in the Dáil.

He said: "We've just gone through the worst snow storm in 35 years, perhaps 70 years. As I speak there are still 23,000 households without water, some parts of the country remain inaccessible by road and the leader of the Opposition's priority is the Strategic Communications Unit.

"Doesn't it say a lot about the misplaced priorities of the leader of the Opposition and the main opposition party."

He went on to say that there are more important issues and the SCU is a distraction but conceded mistakes had been made.

He said: "I do appreciate that the unit that I set up to better explain how the Government works and what Government does, has now become a distraction from the Government and I do appreciate that mistakes were made, that controls were too loose and as a result of that problems arose.

"For that reason, the unit is under review, the Secretary-General is doing the review and that review will be concluded before Easter."

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