Leo Varadkar slams allegations made by "sworn political opponents" after DPP ruling 1 month ago

Leo Varadkar slams allegations made by "sworn political opponents" after DPP ruling

"I know that I did not break any law, do anything corrupt or even self-interested. That is now clear to any fair-minded person."

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has accused his political rivals of exploiting his recent 'leak' scandal for the purposes of political gain while once again maintaining his innocence in the strongest of terms.

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On Wednesday evening, news emerged that Varadkar will not face prosecution following a probe into his distribution of a report to GP Maitiú Ó Tuathail in 2019.

In April of this year, Gardaí submitted a file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) on their investigation into the leak.

Varadkar, who continually argued his innocence regarding the matter, issued a statement on Wednesday noting that he was pleased with the outcome.

On Thursday morning, however, the Tánaiste delivered a more thorough overview, accusing his "sworn political opponents" of going to "extraordinary lengths" to bring the allegations into public light.

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Varadkar has also said that his innocence should be clear "to any fair-minded person".

"My disclosure of the document to the President of the NAGP (National Association of General Practitioners) was lawful and I did so in the public interest," said Varadkar.

"I was determined to secure that organisation's support for the agreement we had reached with another organisation on behalf of General Practitioners. I accept that my use of an informal personal channel was inappropriate. It was my error and I bear sole responsibility for it.

"I have been held to account for those actions to the Dáil. I have apologised for it and I want to do so again," the Tánaiste continued.

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"However, the allegations made against me, that it was anything more than error, were false. They were made by sworn political opponents of me and my party.

"I know that I did not break any law, do anything corrupt or even self-interested. That is now clear to any fair-minded person."

The Tánaiste then turned his attention to the method in which the accusations he faced were presented to the public.

"Those who made the allegations public went to extraordinary lengths to publicise them," he said.

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"Their actions were politically motivated and often highly personalised at times. The tactics and motives of those persons ought to be the subject of some reflection.

"It is now a matter of public record that at least one of those persons was subject to investigation in respect of their own conduct in this affair."

After offering clarity on the specific charges against him, Varadkar thanked Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, the entire Fine Gael party, his staff, family, partner and friends for their trust during a "difficult and uncertain period" for all concerned.

"I am very aware that many people and politicians are not allowed due process, the benefit of doubt of the presumption of innocence" he added. "I am very grateful that – because of them – I was. It is something I will reflect on further.

Varadkar went on to thank his legal advisors and noted that he is looking forward to continuing his work as Tánaiste and leader of Fine Gael.

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Following the DPP ruling, the path is clear for Varadkar once again take up the office of Taoiseach in December, provided the coalition Government retains its majority in Dáil Éireann.

Featured Image via Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie