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Fianna Fáil cannot be trusted to ensure Fine Gael do the right thing - Jonathan O’Brien TD

21 June, 2017 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD


Speaking in the Dáil this evening on the appointment of the former AG Máire Whelan to the Court of Appeal, Sinn Fein Justice spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien has said the government has serious questions to answer and that the issue has all the hall marks of a political appointment.

Teachta O’Brien said;

“It is remarkable that three practicing judges could express an interest in the position and it is then awarded to a person who had not expressed interest, who didn’t apply, who wasn’t actually a judge and who was present at the Cabinet meeting where her nomination was discussed.

“If an ordinary person went for a job interview and then a person on the panel got the job, they would rightfully question whether there had been fair procedures followed.

“To be clear, we are not suggesting illegality.

“We are questioning the circumventing of the law that is in place concerning how a person applies for judicial office, how they are nominated and how they are appointed.

“This incident has all the hallmarks of a political appointment.

“This Government has serious questions to answer regarding how the position was advertised and the reason why the Government provided the excuse that there were no qualified applicants.

“Did one single member of the cabinet have the wit to mention that this might appear to be unethical conduct?

“Deputy Michéal Martin and Taoiseach Varadkar had a conversation about this on Sunday evening – but who phoned who? If Taoiseach Varadkar phoned Micheal Martin then surely this is a breach of cabinet confidentiality. If Michael Martin phoned Varadkar, then how did he get wind of the rush to the park the next day?

“It is clear that Fianna Fáil are not to be trusted on this issue. They have facilitated the election of Leo Varadkar as Taoiseach and they are not prepared to use the leverage that they have to hold Fine Gael to account on this issue.”

ENDS

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