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Murphy criticises Kennedy over legal case decision

21 February, 2013

Responding to the decision of the DRD Minister Danny Kennedy to settle a legal case this afternoon with Declan Gormley, former Minister Conor Murphy said:

 “Danny Kennedy’s response to recent legal cases displays a serious weakness as a Minister and will have longer term implications both for Ministerial authority and the ability to investigate allegations made by civil servants and others. He has for reasons of political expediency and a desire to try and cause political damage to opponents set these issues and clear advice from senior legal figures to one side.

 “I have made it clear in correspondence with the Department in recent weeks my opposition to settling this case in these terms and it is clear that no apology has been made on my behalf.

 “Mr Kennedy’s decision yesterday to refuse to answer questions on his decision making around these cases in front of the Assembly committee, denying his Assembly colleagues the chance to properly scrutinise his actions, says much about his approach to date on these matters.

 “It is my view that by pursuing this course and hiding behind legal privilege in refusing to provide either a legal or political rational to the Assembly Committee or the Assembly itself he has failed in his duty as a Minister.”

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