Bertie Ahern has apologised for a speech in which he suggested people engaged in moaning about the Republic's economy should commit suicide.
Mr Ahern apologised for what he described as a bad choice of words
Mr Ahern made the remarks in Bundoran, County Donegal, during his speech to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
He said he didn't understand why people sitting on the sidelines, moaning and cribbing about the economy did not commit suicide.
The Taoiseach was accused of showing an appalling understanding of the problem.
Fine Gael's deputy health spokesman, Dan Neville, immediately attacked the Taoiseach.
Mr Neville, who is also the president of the Irish Association of Suicidology, said Bertie Ahern had shown an appalling sign of the poor understanding of suicide at the highest level in the country.
The Taoiseach has apologised for what he described as a bad choice of words.