‘Extraordinary abuse’ — Simon Harris denies leaking Zappone appointment
Simon Harris has denied leaking the appointment of Katherine Zappone from a Cabinet meeting.
The Higher Education Minister said he is ‘very seriously’ considering making a complaint to the Dail’s disciplinary committee after a Sinn Fein TD claimed he was the source of leak.
Mr Harris said the allegation by Matt Carthy was an ‘extraordinary abuse’ of parliamentary privilege.
‘It’s extraordinary that someone would abuse Dail privilege,’ Mr Harris said.
‘I take my responsibilities as a TD and as a minister very seriously. Sadly, some people don’t.
‘Dail privilege is there for very specific reason and it’s certainly not there to engage in a tittle-tattle.
‘Deputy Carthy said he was repeating what he believed to be general knowledge and making a very serious charge on the record of the house. It’s untrue and it’s a misuse of Dail privilege.’
Simon Harris said the Tanaiste was ‘completely taken aback’ by the allegation.
Speaking in Dublin, Mr Harris said: ‘I’m very clear in relation to this, what Deputy Carthy did was misuse of Dail privilege and it is untrue.
‘Deputy Carthy has asserted on the national airwaves that he stood up in Dail Eireann yesterday, without any evidence whatsoever, without talking to his leader, without talking to the Taoiseach, or the Tanaiste, and without any evidence made the comment.’
Asked why none of his party colleagues stood up in the Dail to challenge the allegation, Mr Harris said: ‘The footage shows the Tanaiste shaking his head.
‘The Tanaiste made very clear comments in relation to this today.’