An argument broke out in the Dáil discussing politician's salaries when the Sinn Féin deputy leader Pearse Doherty said the Taoiseach had made a very serious allegation about the funding of his office.

The Taoiseach had spoken about the independence of the Dáil.  He said if politicians get into a competition as to who can bid lower, in terms of salaries it would be detrimental to politics and ultimately would lead to wealthier parties with external sources of funding supporting their members.

Pearse Doherty spoke over him;  and then addressing Deputy Doherty, the Taoiseach said: "Your constituency office is well financed .... [with some words inaudible].

He said a serious statement had been made which he said would amount to illegality by the Taoiseach.

Over calls of out of order from the Ceann Comhairle he said: "I am asking you to protect me in this chamber - the Taoiseach has made a very serious allegation in relation to the funding of my constituency office.  As a member of this house representing the people of Donegal suggesting that it is funded through illegal sources".

"You said it was funded through America which would be illegal in this jurisdiction".

The Taoiseach said he made no allegation in terms of Deputy Doherty doing anything illegal but he said "it has been publicly said that there was American support of Sinn Féin constituency offices in Donegal.  If you are saying there is absolutely none, I accept your clarification of that".