Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Broin has denied that the party has a “policy” of sending legal letters or initiating defamation cases against political opponents or the media.
It comes following sustained criticism of the party’s perceived use of defamation laws by the Government parties in recent days.
On Monday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar suggested that Sinn Féin was sending legal warnings “strategically” and questioned if the party was funding its members’ lawsuits.
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Speaking in Leinster House on Tuesday morning, Mr Ó Broin denied that the party had adopted a policy.
He also accused Taoiseach Micheál Martin of “hypocrisy” for his sustained commentary on Sinn Féin’s legal affairs.
“The (Sinn Féin) party has no policy,” he insisted.
“The party does not fund or does not get involved in decisions about whether individual members of the party decide to defend their good names in the courts.
“When I listened to Micheál Martin criticise Sinn Féin over this, all I could think about is Robert Troy sending legally threatening letters to The Ditch not to cover a story.
“I haven't gone and counted all of the legal actions threatened or taken by individuals from any political party.
“If Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael don't want their members to be subjected to legal actions by members of our party or anybody else, stop telling lies about us or stop libelling us.”
Mr Ó Broin also contended that Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald is funding her own defamation case against RTÉ.
She initiated the case following a discussion on Morning Ireland when reference was made to Sinn Féin’s treatment of sexual abuse victim Máiría Cahill.
Elsewhere, Mr Ó Broin said he supports the proposed reformation of Ireland’s defamation laws.
He also confirmed that he has never sent anyone a libel letter.
Mr Varadkar suggested earlier this week that “at least three” Fine Gael representatives have received legal letters from Sinn Féin members.
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