'This is crazy stuff' - FF's Thomas Byrne accuses FG TD of 'Punch and Judy politics'

'This is crazy stuff' - FF's Thomas Byrne accuses FG TD of 'Punch and Judy politics'

Fianna Fáil’s Education spokesperson Thomas Byrne has described comments by Longford-Westmeath Fine Gael TD Peter Burke as “Punch and Judy politics”.

He told RTE’s Morning Ireland that Mr Burke’s accusations that Fianna Fáil repeatedly made wild calls to increase public spending should be put aside at this time and that instead Fine Gael should focus on Brexit.

“This is crazy stuff,” he added.

Mr Burke, who chairs the Fine Gael research unit, said Fianna Fáil had made irrational spending claims throughout last year that totalled €3.5bn. He claimed the party had no coherent strategy and sought to throw cash at every issue.

Peter Burke (left) with Eoghan Murphy and Paschal Donohoe.
Peter Burke (left) with Eoghan Murphy and Paschal Donohoe.

Mr Byrne said that the Fine Gael research unit should instead focus all its efforts on Brexit and questioned where Fine Gael had found the details for the 17-page document as they did not appear to be based on Dáil questions.

Mr Burke said that the research was based on calls made by Fianna Fáil at different times over the past year. “This tells us that Fine Gael is economically responsible. It is important that when Fianna Fáil takes a reckless approach, we should call them out.”

However, Mr Byrne felt that it had been unwise for Fine Gael to publish the statement particularly at a time when the UK was experiencing the uncertainty and chaos of Brexit.

“Frankly, it’s scary, we need to ensure that doesn’t happen here.”

Earlier on Newstalk Breakfast Mr Byrne called on Fine Gael to focus on the international crisis that was Brexit. He said it was hypocritical for Mr Burke to make some of the comments in view of the fact that the Rainy Day fund introduced in the last Budget had come about at the insistence of Fianna Fáil.

“They criticise us, then they adopt our policy.”

However, Mr Burke said that it was important, with the backdrop of Brexit, that “this kind of practice should be stopped.

“A leopard doesn’t change its spots. It is up to Fianna Fáil to stop this.”

More on this topic

Poll: Fianna Fáil sees surge in support following Taoiseach's election announcementPoll: Fianna Fáil sees surge in support following Taoiseach's election announcement

Taoiseach says party would support Fianna Fáil led Government under confidence and supply agreementTaoiseach says party would support Fianna Fáil led Government under confidence and supply agreement

No ordinary Joe can follow in the footsteps of a political dynastyNo ordinary Joe can follow in the footsteps of a political dynasty

Fianna Fáil preparing for by-elections on 'Super Friday' style election dayFianna Fáil preparing for by-elections on 'Super Friday' style election day


More in this Section

Man arrested in connection with Dublin drugs and gun find releasedMan arrested in connection with Dublin drugs and gun find released

Man reported stuck in mud ran off in his underpants as emergency services reached sceneMan reported stuck in mud ran off in his underpants as emergency services reached scene

Poll: Fianna Fáil sees surge in support following Taoiseach's election announcementPoll: Fianna Fáil sees surge in support following Taoiseach's election announcement

Hundreds of people attend People’s Vote rally in BelfastHundreds of people attend People’s Vote rally in Belfast


Lifestyle

The Regal Cinema in Youghal, Co Cork, first opened its doors in 1936. Director John Huston used it as a base to review footage while filming Moby Dick in the town.We Show Films: ‘I once found a full rotisserie chicken in the cinema’

The biennial festival in Cork produced another unique feast of fine music and good vibes.Sounds from a Safe Harbour brings fine music and good vibes to Cork

Here are five things to check out in the week ahead.5 things for the week ahead

You have crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a ship to Ireland. You are tired and hungry and desperate to deliver your expensive cargo to port.Islands of Ireland: Horse, trading, and Drishane

More From The Irish Examiner