Socialist TD Joe Higgins has accused a Turkish construction company working in Ireland of carrying out what he described as a master fraud and grand larceny amounting to millions. 

Mr Higgins told the Dáil that Gama Construction used the most primitive techniques of worker exploitation.

He said the company had paid its Irish staff the agreed rate of €12.96 per hour, but had not honoured those rates for its Turkish workers.

Mr Higgins outlined the case of one worker who worked 330 hours but was paid less than €1,000, instead of the €4,000 he should have been paid.

The Socialist Party leader went on to suggest that the rest of the money was transferred to accounts in the Netherlands, without the worker's knowledge.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Health, Mary Harney, said the company has been investigated by the labour inspectorate, and that if the allegations were true it would represent a disgraceful exploitation of workers.

She told the House that some workers at Gama had already received work permits from the Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, Micheál Martin, to allow them to find other jobs.