Fine Gael has compiled a secret dossier detailing damaging information about Sinn Féin TDs and compar ing the party to Donald Trump, the Irish Independent can reveal.
he 18-page document labelled ‘Sinn Féin Hypocrisy’ outlines what Fine Gael see as the party’s inconsistent stances North and south, and criticisms of its “disingenuous” economic policies.
It seeks to highlight any other conflicting public comments that Sinn Féin party members might have made about a range of issues.
Details of the secret dossier come after Tánaiste Leo Varadkar launched a highly personalised attack on Sinn Féin’s deputy leader Pearse Doherty over a little-known prosecution for being abusive toward a garda 24 years ago.
Fine Gael is heading towards the next election trailing Sinn Féin in the polls and the dossier represents a clear plan of attack. It highlights what Fine Gael call “Sinn Féin’s terrible record on conspiracy theories”, along with the party’s “similarities” with former US president Donald Trump.
The document, obtained by the Irish Independent, asks: “Sinn Féin has a dark past, run by dark and shadowy figures. Who controls Sinn Féin?”
It says Trump “falsely claimed” victory in the last US election while Sinn Féin “falsely declared” it won the last General Election despite getting only 37 seats.
It adds: “Trump lied to the American public and put lives at risk by organising large, super spreader campaign rallies during Covid.”
It then says Sinn Féin put “lives at risk when they organised a massive political rally and oration for the Bobby Storey funeral in the middle of the pandemic”.
Details of the dossier have emerged after one of the most vitriolic Dáil exchanges in recent memory where the Tánaiste sought to tar the Opposition party with a series of rapid accusations.
In the Dáil, Mr Varadkar accused Mr Doherty of taking “cheap shots” when he criticised him for hosting former Cabinet ministers to celebrate 10 years of Fine Gael in power.
The Tánaiste said Sinn Féin had hosted €1,000-a-plate dinners in the US and received “millions in donations from vagabonds who live in a caravan” – in reference to an English recluse who left the party €4m.
Mr Doherty said he thought Mr Varadkar would be “more humble”, given the DPP was examining claims he illegally leaked a multimillion-euro State GP contract to a friend.
Mr Varadkar responded by saying Mr Doherty had been prosecuted after he “abused and mistreated a member of An Garda Síochána”.
The Tánaiste was referring to a court case in 1999 in which Mr Doherty and his colleague Matt Carthy, along with two other friends, was prosecuted for an altercation with gardaí
Mr Doherty later issued a statement saying the conviction was for a “very minor breach of the peace” and called on Mr Varadkar to focus on supporting people who could not heat their homes.
The Fine Gael dossier comes at a time when Sinn Féin is riding high in the polls here and has become the biggest party in the North. The dossier claims Sinn Féin has a history of not taking action over homophobic and racist comments. It highlights remarks made by former Sinn Féin councillor Paddy Holohan about Mr Varadkar. It also outlines how a Sinn Féin member consulted with the party before speaking to gardaí investigating the murder of Detective Adrian Donohoe.
The document also accuses Sinn Féin of “speaking out of both sides of their mouths” on abortion due to their conflicting stances in the North and south. It is also critical of what it calls Sinn Féin TDs’ “fake pledge to take the average industrial wage”.