Fianna Fail TD Jim McDaid last night furiously dug his heels in over his steadfast refusal to surrender a lucrative ministerial pension, the Irish Independent reports.
The former minister claimed he knew his firm refusal to forgo the €22,000 per annum pension would provoke "considerable hatred and controversy".
In a highly-charged speech to the Dail last night, the defiant Donegal North-East TD conceded that as a medical doctor and as a TD with 20 years' experience, he had no need of a top-up pension of €22,000.
"I am not deserving of a ministerial pension. Nor do I need it. And if this debate can occur in a calm and rational way and it is the express wish of this House, I will happily forego it. But this debate is not occurring in a calm and rational way," he told cross-party TDs.
"It is being driven by a media-fuelled paranoia, where the sole aim is the sale of newspapers and advertising space, not the preservation of democratic principles. I knew that the reason behind my decision would attract vitriol from all quarters as an angry people, whipped into a frenzy by sections of the media, were not going to listen to the views of any politician."
A Fine Gael motion, calling for the introduction of legislation to immediately end the pension payments to sitting politicians, kicked off in the Dail last night and will be voted on tonight.