Mary Lou McDonald has compared Shane Ross’ controversial biography of her to a book written while on summer holidays.
The Sinn Féin leader hit back at the former Independent Alliance minister after his book hit the headlines for a number of reasons.
One of those was when Mr. Ross questioned where Ms. McDonald got the money for her family home in Cabra.
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The five-bedroomed house underwent substantial renovations after it was purchased - Mr. Ross estimates they cost several hundred thousand euros - and Mr. Ross cast doubt over where the funding for this work came from.
Mr. Ross also called the home a mansion.
Speaking to reporters at Saturday’s Ard Fheis, Ms. McDonald slammed Mr. Ross and said she got the money for the house through a mortgage, like everybody else.
She said: “Shane Ross writing a book about me is a bit like me on my summer holidays deciding that I’d write a book about the Taoiseach and then giving him a ring and saying, would you like to cooperate and give me an interview.
“From the get-go, I said to Shane I just don’t think this is a project that I would be interested in being involved with, so he’s aware of that.”
Ms. McDonald then addressed Mr. Ross’ suspicions about where she got the cash to transform her home.
She said: “I’m very lucky that we have a family home.
“I’m really conscious that there are lots of people who can’t say that.
“We have a single home, a family home in Cabra and we paid for it the way all working people pay for their family home, we have a mortgage and we’re still paying for it folks and we’ll be paying it for quite some time.
“That’s it, that’s the beginning, the middle, and the end of the story.”
“He (Ross) can suggest what he wants, it’s my family home, the single home that we have, that we’ve raised our kids in, we have a mortgage on it.
“We pay our mortgage, we pay our dues, we pay our bills, that’s who we are, like all other working people, that’s it, that’s the story.”
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