Leo has spoken. But not everyone was convinced.
For anyone not paying attention, all hell broke loose on Saturday morning.
Village Magazine published an article accusing Leo Varadkar of having leaked a confidential draft of the GP contract being negotiated between Government and the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) back in 2019 to his chum Maitiú ó Tuathail of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP), as in…. a competitor to the IMO which was not party to the negotiations, was not a member of ICTU, and who would go into liquidation only three months later. The magazine said Varadkar’s actions were a crime under the Official Secrets Act and, possibly, the Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act, as well as being in clear breach of the Dáil members’ Code of Conduct.
Varadkar’s response was that while he did indeed provide the document to Ó Tuathail, it’s not actually that big of a deal because it was already publicly available. And besides, he leaked it with the noble aim of convincing more GPs to sign up to the contract. Ó Tuathail responded to the allegations with a statement claiming the Government should have actually shared the document with the NAGP before it was leaked to him. Despite Fine Gael’s best efforts, few fears were assuaged by these indignant counter-claims and Varadkar had to agree to make a statement in the Dáil.
In the lead up to Varadkar’s statement, Village argued that the document was shared not in the public good but to “undermine the IMO’s negotiating stance”. The media outlet stood by its claims that Varadkar had broken the law. Fine Gael bit back by releasing a video of Richard Bruton baking scones.
So, now that Varadkar has spoken and the TDs have asked their questions, was anyone convinced? Anyone?