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  Higgins feels the new thud of Ahern response
Wednesday, 21st June, 2006


Taoiseach Bertie Ahern branded Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins a "failed person" in an angry outburst in the Dáil today.

During a debate on housing, Mr Higgins said the Taoiseach had made no mention of policies to stem ever-increasing house prices. "Is that because you have no measures to stop them?" Mr Higgins inquired.

The Taoiseach responded angrily saying new houses were being built for the "young people and the working class of this country" at a faster rate than any other state in Europe.

He said Mr Higgins had the "most hopeless policy that I ever heard pursued by any nitwit.You're a failed person, you were rejected and your political philosophy was rejected.

"You're not going to pull people back because of the failed old policies that you dreamt up in south Kerry when you were a young fella. Now go away."

Mr Higgins is the only Socialist Party TD in the Dáil and donates the surplus of his wages above the average industrial wage to his party. The latest figures show he donated €37,077.

Mr Ahern earns over €246,000 - one of the highest rates of pay for a head of government in the EU.

He once famously claimed that he and Mr Higgins were two of only three genuine socialists in the Dáil.

The pair have clashed in the Dáil in the past. Mr Higgins once described Mr Ahern's answers as like "playing handball against a hay stack". "Your hear a dull thud but the ball never comes back to you," Mr Higgins told the House in 2003.

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