Updated: 29/03/18 : 12:36:00
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Taoiseach regrets 15 'very decent civil servants' brought into SCU public debate

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has defended staff of the Government's Strategic Communications Unit (SCU).

The SCU is being wound down after claims it instructed newspapers to make adverts look like real news.

Fianna Fáil claimed the unit was nothing more than a "€5m PR stunt for brand Leo".

The Taoiseach is before an Oireachtas Committee today and says, despite the unit being wound down, the staff are not to blame.

Mr Varadkar said: "One of the things I regret the most about this whole debate around the SCU is the extent to which 15 very decent civil and public servants were brought into the public debate.

"Perhaps not by you, but by others, and allegations made against them that they were doing political work, that they were favouring one political party.

"And that just wasn't true, it was never true, and is not backed up by the evidence."