A Fianna Fáil TD has walked out of a Public Accounts Committee after telling health officials they were not fit for office.

Sean Fleming also told the HSE delegation they were a disgrace and said he would not be party to the charade of a meeting.

His colleague, Labour's Michael McCarthy, apologised for his behaviour and said he was embarrassed and humiliated by the outburst, and it did not reflect the work of the committee.

Fine Gael's Simon Harris said members should take a step back and "chillax".

The committee is investigating spending and cost overruns in the HSE and the Department of Health and had faced some difficulty in persuading the two bodies to appear together.

When the session got under way, the incoming boss of the Department of Health, Ambrose McLoughlin, said he had a difficulty in answering questions as they related to government policy.

Tony O'Brien from the HSE said he was concerned about discussing the executive’s budget before the financial year had concluded.

A visibly angry committee chairman John McGuinness said he did not need any lectures on what they could discuss.