Mon, 01 Nov, 2021 – 21:50
The Tánaiste’s leaking of a GP contract to a rival union has been made a key point in the opening night of Europe’s largest tech conference.
The Irish co-founder of Web Summit, Paddy Cosgrave, made the comments about Leo Varadkar’s leaking of the deal with the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) to the National Association of General Practitioners, then led by Mr Varadkar’s friend Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail, as part of his introduction of the event’s keynote speaker, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.
Mr Cosgrave said the organisation Whistleblower Aid had assisted in the breaking of the story in Village Magazine last year and had assisted businessman Chay Bowes in triggering a “devastating exposé” of Mr Varadkar. The affair has been subject to a long-running criminal investigation.
Mr Cosgrave brought Mr Bowes, Village Magazine’s Michael Smith, and Whistleblower Aid’s John Tye on to the stage, encouraging the audience to give them a round of applause.
The National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) is currently investigating the matter after a complaint was made last November. Mr Varadkar has admitted sharing a copy of a new pay agreement between the Department of Health and the IMO with Dr Ó Tuathail.
Dr Ó Tuathail has also been interviewed by the NBCI.
Mr Varadkar, who declined to comment when contacted by the Irish Examiner, has consistently denied any wrongdoing and does not believe he has committed any offence.
Founded in 2009, Web Summit moved from Dublin to Lisbon in 2016. More than 40,000 people are expected to attend this week.
Among the speakers are Portuguese prime minister Antonio Costa, football legends Thierry Henry and Samuel E’to, former British deputy prime minister and now vice president of Facebook Nick Clegg, and comedian Amy Poehler.