Tánaiste Brian Cowen has accused Enda Kenny of sounding more and more like Napoleon in Elba, drawing up plans for wars he lost, as he criticises the Taoiseach.

Mr Cowen said Mr Kenny's claim that the Government was paralysed because of the Mahon Tribunal evidence was nonsense. He said he was not in the business of evaluating tribunal proceedings day-by-day and hour-by-hour.

Speaking in Co Offaly, Mr Cowen said the Government was doing its work and he had spent the morning meeting the HSE to discuss the development of services in the midlands.

He said he would be at cabinet tomorrow and there would be opportunities in the Dáil for discussion and to take questions and do the business of the Government.

‘We will get on with our work,’ Mr Cowen said ‘and I am sure the tribunal will get on with theirs.’

When asked by RTÉ News when he became aware of a £30,000 loan from the trust, Mr Cowen said he had not discussed this with Mr Ahern.

He said Mr Ahern was handling that in his own way in compliance with terms of reference of the Mahon Tribunal.

When asked a second time when he became aware of the loan, Mr Cowen said he did not have prior discussions with the Taoiseach about the giving of Mr Ahern's evidence.

Kenny says questions unanswered

Earlier Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said Mr Ahern still has questions to answer in relation to his personal finances.

He also claimed Bertie Ahern had lost the trust and respect of the electorate following further revelations at the Mahon Tribunal last week.

Speaking RTÉ Radio's Morning Ireland, Mr Kenny said Mr Ahern was himself responsible for unanswered questions.

Yesterday, he said his party would consider moving another motion of 'no confidence' in the government if Fianna Fáil ministers do not act on the issue.

Minister for the Environment John Gormley said the controversy surrounding Mr Ahern was distracting from the work of the Government and that he was intent on continuing to implement an ambitious programme.

He said the Green Party remained consistent in its position with regard to ongoing revelations at the Mahon Tribunal.

He said the tribunal must be allowed to complete its work unhindered and that no decisions should be taken ahead of the outcome of that inquiry.

Mr Gormley accused the Opposition of being inconsistent in the position it was now adopting.

He pointed out that it had remained very quiet during the election and had allowed the tribunal to continue its work.