Sinn Féin had built a database to snoop on every Irish adult: Education Minister

Sinn Féin had built a database to snoop on every Irish adult: Education Minister

Norma Foley said that Sinn Féin operates "on the assumption that they won’t be challenged" and accused Mary Lou McDonald's party of being anti-business. Picture: Gareth Chaney

The Education Minister has unleashed a broadside at Sinn Féin, labelling the opposition "negative, spineless and baseless".

In a blistering attack, Norma Foley said that Sinn Féin "has no policies" and had "built a database to snoop on every Irish adult".

Speaking as the introduction to Taoiseach Michéal Martin's speech at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis at Dublin's RDS, Ms Foley said that the Government has worked "in the face of the most relentlessly negative, aggressive and cynical opposition our country has ever seen".

"Their entire strategy is based on trying to denigrate this country, and claiming that unless everything is done, nothing is done. They are wrong to do that. Nothing could be further from the truth. I despise that negative, spineless, and baseless opposition.

"It is now patently obvious opposition don’t have any policies, they have soundbites. And you can’t run a country on soundbites."

Ms Foley said that Sinn Féin operates "on the assumption that they won’t be challenged" and accused Mary Lou McDonald's party of being anti-business.

"Our country has always been fueled by business, enterprise and entrepreneurship, but the only mention of this sector from the opposition is how they can tax and traduce them.

"We in Fianna Fáil are determined to build, sustain, grow and nurture business and enterprise, they’re talking about milking them for short-term gain. A recipe for economic disaster."

Ms Foley said that Sinn Féin's Abú database was being used to "snoop" on people and questioned the inheritance of money by Sinn Féin from a man who died in Wales.

"And remember delegates, when it was revealed that Sinn Féin in their sinister big brother moment was developing a mass database to snoop on all Irish adults," she said.

"This database was housed overseas so it couldn’t be investigated? First they said nothing. Then they denied it. Then they admitted it but said that some innocent party supporter was in charge of the database, but because he happened to live in Serbia they couldn’t give any more details. How curious!"

She added: "And what exactly is normal about a party which announces that a man of no fixed address living in a caravan has supposedly left it €5m and rising in bank accounts all over Asia and the rest of the world? Curiouser and curiouser!"

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