Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has accused Fine Gael deputies of using 'gutter comments' against him in the Dáil yesterday.
Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships, the Taoiseach rejected suggestions made by Labour Party Leader Eamon Gilmore that he was treating people like gullible fools.
Last night the Government won a vote of confidence in the Taoiseach by 81 to 76.
He added that nobody in the crowd at the Ploughing Championships this morning had mentioned any of the recent controversies.
Following last night's vote it is understood the Government Chief Whip, Tom Kitt, is to write to Fianna Fáil TD Ned O'Keeffe about his absence.
Mr Kitt is expected to seek a meeting with Mr O'Keeffe to discuss the matter next week.
The Cork East TD was one of eight Government supporters who did not cast a vote yesterday, but the only one whose absence was not approved.
Five Ministers were abroad on Government business and were not able to return in time for the vote, while another two were excused due to illness.
It has not been possible to contact Mr O'Keeffe today for comment.
24/09/2007 - 07:55:32
The tribunal is investigating large sums of money that Mr Ahern received from wealthy businessmen and friends in the 1990s.
It is focusing in particular on a number of foreign exchange transactions linked to the money.
Yesterday, an opinion poll found that less than one-third of voters believe the Taoiseach's explanations over the past couple of weeks, while 60% say he should resign if he is found to have lied to the tribunal.
And sure while we're at it...also from breakingnews.ie
Ranking shows corruption in Ireland rising
26/09/2007 - 10:03:45
Ireland's reputation is falling down the world rankings because of corruption, according to the campaign group Transparency International.
Ireland is 17th out of 180 countries in the organisation's latest corruption perceptions index, down from 11th in 1995.
Transparency International is blaming weak safeguards against corruption and the Government's reversal of important political reforms for the perceived downturn in public standards.
It says Irish businesses are losing out because of this reputation, which can hamper a country's ability to attract foreign investment.