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O Snodaigh rejects Brennan’s claims on Tribunals

15 February, 2007


Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has rejected claims by Minister Brennan in the Dáil this morning that no legislation is planned to allow the Government to interfere with a Tribunal. Deputy Ó Snodaigh pointed out that the proposed Tribunal of Inquiries Bill would give the Government 'the authority to suspend or dissolve a Tribunal for unlimited reasons and to prevent the publication of a Tribunal's report'.

The Dublin South-Central TD said: "Minister Brennan's assertion on this morning's Order of Business that 'there is no legislation planned that would allow the Government to interfere with a Tribunal' is incorrect.

"The proposed Tribunal of Inquiries Bill 2005, to which Sinn Féin is strenuously opposed, would effectively give the Government power over whether to establish a Tribunal of Inquiry at all, its terms of reference and its members.

"It would also effectively give the Government the authority to suspend or dissolve a Tribunal for unlimited reasons and to prevent the publication of a Tribunal's report.

"While the provisions of this legislation will not apply retrospectively, it is not correct to say the Government has no plans to interfere with the Tribunal process and the proposed legislation would, if passed, have the effect of undermining any and all future Tribunals.

"This is completely unacceptable and will not instil any confidence amongst either the general public or more crucially those who have been specifically affected and are seeking the full truth about events."

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