[From top: Tom Finegan appearing before the Justice Committee on Wednesday and above Senator Ronan Mullen]
David McMahon writes:
“I thought I’d assemble the following just to show how small Dublin/Ireland is in terms of the people who occupy the civil society strata. It is pure coincidence of course that the example below relates to the personages involved, and no judgment is being made on the value of the individuals contributions. Undoubtedly a similar close relationship/cross population/dynamic applies to other areas and sectors. It’s just interesting.
1. The Children and Family Relationships Bill was before the Oireachtas Justice Committee on Wednesday; and in the main was acknowledged as a long overdue and progressive step in recognising the reality of Irish family and reproductive life. The Bill is by no way perfect.
2. In the afternoon session, the witnesses included Family and Life; and were represented by Dr Tom Finegan. Family and Life are based at 26 Mountjoy Square, and per their website:
‘Family & Life is not affiliated to any other organisation, it does not receive nor seek state, organizational or corporate funding; it does not engage in street collections, lotteries or the for-profit sale of goods. Family & Life is not a political lobby group’.
3. Dr Finegan is, a founding member of Catholic Comment; working alongside Ronan Mullen (Director) and David Quinn (Expert/Consultant). Other personages noted on Catholic Comment website include Breda O’Brien, Maria Steen and Lorcan Price.
4. Dr Tom Finegan, was Ronan Mullen’s previous Parliamentary Assistant, as evidenced at this Facebook acknowledgement: “Sen. Ronan Mullen has had to cancel, a last minute-cancellation. He is sending his Parliamentary Assistant Tom Finegan. He’s a PHD candidate in the area of medicine in Trinity College Dublin and will give a robust proposal of the Pro-Life Argument.”
5. Senator Ronan Mullen is a member of the Justice committee and directed his first line of questioning to Dr Finegan, after opening statements by all witnesses. There is no requirement on the part of Committee members to disclose previous professional relationships with witnesses, or is there?