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Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil call for communications unit to be disbanded

Sinn Féin plans to table a motion in the Dáil calling for the government's Strategic Communications Unit (SCU) to be disbanded.

The party says it is just a PR unit promoting the Taoiseach and Fine Gael, at the taxpayers expense.

The SCU has come under scrutiny in the last week for allegedly instructing newspapers to make ads look like real news.

The government denies the allegations.

Fianna Fáil may also table a motion on the matter according to Micheál Martin.

Micheál Martin

The Fianna Fáil leader was speaking this morning on Today with Sean O'Rourke and said that his party want to see the SCU disbanded.

"We want it disbanded so whatever it takes to disband it, we might develop our own motions, and put our own motions on the slab," said Mr Martin.

He went on to say that the Taoiseach had been in denial for some time and noted the timing of the review announcement saying "he announced a review deep in the snow".

Mr Martin said that the unit should be depoliticised and to be taken out of the Department of an Taoiseach.

"We cannot and should not be using civil servants to promote the message of a political party."

Mr Martin said that it is "unacceptable" for the government to blur the lines between independent journalism and paid for ads.

You can listen to Micheál Martin's full interview below.

Digital Desk