Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has described the frontrunner to replace Enda Kenny as Fine Gael leader and taoiseach as “no friend to the people of Donegal”.
He made the comments about Leo Varadkar who has become clear
Deputy McHugh said on Thursday that Minister Varadkar understands “the unique circumstances of Donegal”.
“"I believe Leo Varadkar will make an excellent Taoiseach for all the people of the Republic of Ireland and for all the people of Donegal,” Deputy McHugh. “I have never found him wanting when it came to dealing with issues head-on.”
But Senator Mac Lochlainn described the comments as “nonsense”.
“Leo Varadkar has been no friend to Donegal,” he said. “As Fine Gael opposition spokesperson on transport, he opposed the Irish Government co-funding the A5 dual carriageway, linking Donegal to Dublin. Then as minister for transport, he ensured that funding was withdrawn from this vital project for Donegal and the north west of Ireland.
“I also witnessed at first hand, Leo Varadkar's so-called "commitment" to Donegal when he rejected out of hand any funding from his Department for the Greencastle to Magilligan ferry when a delegation of local council officials and public representatives
"As minister for health, he oversaw the continuation of the crisis in our health service for two years. Here in Donegal, thousands of our people were on hospital waiting lists and hospital trolleys under his watch every year.
If Minister McHugh and his Fine Gael colleagues want to back Leo Varadkar as the next leader of their party, then that is fair enough but please don't take the people of Donegal for fools as to the reasons why. I say it again. His track record speaks for itself. Leo Varadkar has been no friend to the people of Donegal".