Labour leader Alan Kelly is adamant that he did not “misconstruct” an off-mic conversation with the Taoiseach in the Dáil.
he Tipperary Deputy claimed earlier today that the Taoiseach told him that teachers would not have to restrict their movements for five days as per the new household contact rules.
He can be seen having an off-mic conversation with Micheál Martin in a video recording of Dáil proceedings earlier today.
His account of the conversation caused confusion among teachers and the education sector on social media.
At a televised press conference only hours later, Mr Martin said that he is “very annoyed” at Deputy Kelly’s remarks and said that his comments has been misconstrued.
Mr Martin denied that the exchange was in the chamber and that it was a “very brief, 40 second engagement”.
“I’m very annoyed about it. I spoke to him. Complete misconstruction,” he said.
“Household close contacts should restrict movements for five days, pending completion of recommended antigen testing. No-one is exempt from that,” he added.
“I was a bit taken back about how that was constructed.”
In a statement tonight, Mr Kelly claims that the Government did a U-turn on their decision to exempt teachers.
“After Questions in the Dáil I walked across the Dáil and engaged directly with the Taoiseac,” he said.
“I don’t believe teachers should be discriminated against or treated differently so I raised concerns about the impact the proposed 5 day rule for household contacts of confirmed cases would have on schools.
“The Taoiseach clearly told me teachers were exempt from this rule.
“I did not misconstruct what he said. Far from it.
“It says so much about the incoherence of this government that policy changes by the hour, and at some stages they don’t know what U-turn they are even reversing,” he said.