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PDs can't duck out of collective responsibility on child abuse deal

2 October, 2003

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin has described Michael McDowell's efforts to distance himself from the debacle surrounding the deal on child abuse reached between the Government and the religious as "lacking all credibility."

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"Michael McDowell's hand-wringing exercise yesterday in relation to the deal struck between the Government and the Religious Orders on child abuse compensation lacks credibility. The deal was approved by the Cabinet, including the Tánaiste, Minister McDowell's PD party leader. As the chief legal adviser to the Government at the time, with full access to Government and cabinet decisions, Minister McDowell has to accept his share of responsibility for the collective decisions of that Government. He cannot have it both ways. While we are being led to believe that he may have had some concerns about the deal he doesn't seem to have made any serious efforts to have the deal scrapped. On the contrary it is obvious now that he had no real problems with supporting the Government's collective decision to give the deal the thumbs up.

"Minister McDowell's position suggests that the PDs are now cynically attempting to distance themselves from what was a disgraceful decision for both those abused and the Irish taxpayer." ENDS

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