Meanwhile, In The Dáil

at

Right now.

In the Dáil.

In his first Leaders’ Questions.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar responds to questions about the appointment of former Attorney General Máire Whelan to the Court of Appeal.

Watch live here

Previously: Faster!

UPDATE:

During Leaders’ Questions.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin claimed a payment made to Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty was in breach of legislation.

Brendan Howlin said:

“Taoiseach, last week, you unveiled your new Cabinet. It included  an unprecedented number of ministers of state with the right to attend at Cabinet. Within 24 hours, it emerged that one of these four ministers could not receive the corresponding allowance without a change in the law….

“Over the weekend, the situation got worse. It has now emerged that a payment of a a third such allowance to the Government chief whip [Regina Doherty] from last year was also unlawful.

The whip was paid an allowance of €15,829 for her role as Government whip. No such position exists under law. It is clear from documents released under Freedom of Information that the allowance was paid to the Government whip on the understanding that the Government whip was actually being paid for her responsibilities as Fine Gael whip. This might seem like a technical and minor matter however,r under the law, no allowance can be paid to a party whip, if that person is a minister or a minister for state.

“This means that you cannot pay such an allowance to the new Government chief whip. It also means that an illegal overpayment has been made to Minster Doherty.

Related: Doherty faces repaying €16k to the State (Irish Independent)

30 thoughts on “Meanwhile, In The Dáil

  1. Andrew

    Who gives a flying fig? Really? It’s typical of Irish politics, grandstanding over these non-issues.
    From Fianna fail as well! They wrote the book on cronyism, uif this is even that.
    Maire Whelan was a labour party nominees for AG anyway.
    The media are worse for running with this nonsense.

    1. LW

      What the hell are you talking about? She is the former AG, a labour nominee from 2011. That has shag all to do with today’s issue. Certainly FF aren’t free from sin in terms of cronyism, but how is that an argument for the rest of us ignoring this? How is this anything other than cronyism? Appointed for a job she didn’t apply for, circumventing the application process

      1. Andrew

        I could not care less. Is she qualified to do the job? eminently so. This is grandstanding and a diversion from the real issues of the day.
        My point about her being a Labour nominee is that if she has any political allegiance at all, then it’s with them.
        This is utter, utter nonsense.

          1. Andrew

            Jesus wept! it’s not a ‘blueshirt’ defence. I voted for Brid Smith in the last election. It’s just calling this as I see it. it’s a distraction, it mean nothing and Irish politics and the political corrs. love it. But it really serves no purpose.
            Our ‘journalistic’ class are happy to ‘cover’ this story rather than do some actual investigation.
            How about actually hounding Noonan about the house price manipulation? Why are FF not going on about that? they won’t because they’ll do exactly the same once they inevitably get back in.
            Voted in by people who consume too much Irish media

        1. LW

          So you’re basing your assessment of her political allegiance on her appointment to her previous post, as opposed to the one she just got appointed to by the current FG Taoiseach? That is beyond weak. I do agree with your postscript to your comment though

        2. Frilly Keane

          Andrew
          you are a prize gom
          no doubt about it bhoy

          no-one has remarked about Maire Whelans qualifications to do any job
          what is subject to criticism
          and bloody rightly so
          so that this Lady
          had accepted the applications from three High Court Judges for a vacant post to bring to the Cabinet

          and said nothing
          and did nothing
          about them
          only guzzle the gig up for herself for when she was removed from the post of Attorney General

          This isn’t over by a long shot
          to be witness to a discussion about filling the vacancy on the Appeals bench
          and say NOTHING about the three applications she had for the post is nothing short of Professional Misconduct

          so now lets talk about Nonsense Andrew

          1. Andrew

            You actually don’t know what you’re talking about here. either way I’m now contributing to this diversionary circus. meanwhile Ireland continues apace with its catastrophic leprechaun economics.

          2. LW

            Andrew I dunno would you pass a Turing test. What should we be focusing on, to avert our eyes from this stroke?

    2. Daisy Chainsaw

      Blueshoight fraperoom alert!

      NOTHING TO SEE HERE! Just non compliant Reg diddling taxpayers out of even more money.

  2. Clara Vaughan

    Leo Varadkar spent yesterday sucking up to a failing Prime Minster in the wake of one of the largest cover ups in London. I refer to the Grenfell fire tragedy. As an Irish person living in the UK seeing Leo make a statement backing Theresa May’s controversial decision to power share with the DUP has told us everything we need to know about him. His diplomacy is certainly that of a statesman however he backed the wrong horse with Theresa. Being the new young liberal Taoiseach possibly meant he wanted to be seen to be some sort of European conduit for Brexit however he was played by May. Leo in Downing Street yesterday was a reminder that Ireland does not have a Momentum, does not have a Jezza, or a credibly strong opposition. It is no wonder ‘Jobs for the Boys’ marks the beginning of Leo’s reign. Leo like his new buddy Theresa technically do not have a mandate from the electorate. Did Leo need to fly to London and back Mrs May before the DUP/Coservative official agreement? Perhaps in the next Irish general election voters will remember Leo’s enthusiasm for Mrs May and her cover up in Kensington, her weapons selling in the Middle East and her cruel Tory austerity. As Leo correctly pointed out everyone in Ireland has someone belonging to them in London. Leo is so strong and stable that he can embrace a conservative government who’s only means of holding on to power is to break the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Is his need for attention so great that he can not recognise a rise in old labour when he sees one. Either way he has marked his cards as business as usual in national and international affairs.

    1. Rob_G

      What on earth are you blithering on about – Leo is Taoiseach, May is Prime Minister. In normal times, the UK PM and the Taoiseach have plenty to talk about; at the moment, it is more important than ever that they cooperate to hammer out the details on any issue that Brexit throws up.

      It is very sad that so many people died in that awful fire – but what should do, cut diplomatic relations with the each country that has a terrible accident? Should every country cut diplomatic relations with us when the Tuam babies scandal emerged?

      1. C

        I take your point but my point Im not saying he should cut talks with her Im saying Arelen Foster has yet to make an agreement with her

  3. Ron

    It really beggars belief when I read the comments section from supposedly intelligent people here on Broadsheet constantly referring to the process of how Whelan was appointed to the Court of Appeal being flawed, but how ultimately she is ’eminently qualified’ to do the job. That’s the problem with group mentality.. Someone says it and others repeat it and suddenly it becomes accepted fact. The reality couldn’t be further from that truth.

    The tenure of Marie Whelan as AG has been mired in controversy. A Labour hack for years, she was appointed AG in 2011 and in a bizarre move was reappointed by Enda Kenny in 2016.

    This AG took almost 6 months to alert Minister Shatter about the widespread nature of the recording of phone calls in and out of garda stations, she also did not contact the then commissioner, Mr Callinan, or ask anyone to do so on her behalf, to seek further explanation in relation to the tapes. The Fennelly report noted her advice in relation to this scandal was ultimately incorrect, and its “alarmist” nature was a factor in the circumstances which hours later led to then Garda commissioner Martin Callinan’s officially stated retirement.

    Most shockingly, Máire Whelan was called to the Fennelly commission “at least four times” because her evidence directly contradicted some of her own statements and that of other key players in the investigation.

    She was central in the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the Siteserv controversy that did not have the legal powers to do the job. The FG/Lab government were also found to have breached the McKenna judgement under her watch.

    Is this really the callibre of person you want to see appointed to the highest court in the land?

    1. Frilly Keane

      not only that Ron

      Those three other applicants may well have cases sent up to her at some stage on the Appeals Bench
      watch what happens then

      1. Ron

        I agree. But let’s everyone first accept that whilst she may have the ‘qualification’ for the job, there is clearly an issue with her ability to perform competently in that job. Based on past past performance which is the only real indicator we have, she is a questionable ‘fit’ for the role in question.

        1. Frilly Keane

          Hi Ron

          I think I already commented on Maire Whelan’s abilities and competencies over on another thread earlier today

          something like her being considered the worst attorney general ever by her fellow members of the Law Library

          1. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

            Jaysus yous are all very negative and into the woman bashing

          2. Frilly Keane

            that’s the easy way out of this argument

            this is about competence and professional conduct
            its about transparency
            Independence and free from conflicts

            and that’s a problem of all of us
            but you go on and call it wimin bashing
            if that helps you through this

            But I’m not in the slightest bit fooled

          3. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

            Well Shure what would you know you’re only a woman

    2. Sheik Yahbouti

      Couldn’t agree more, Ron. Endless repetition of a canard becoming holy writ – group think ruling….. WTF

  4. Eoin

    Embattled on week one. Nice job. So bizarre watching people try to defend this BLATANT abuse of power. It really makes me doubt people sanity.

  5. Truth in the News

    How could there be confidence in a individual to administer the law fairly when they
    themselves achieved their position in circumstances to say the least was less than
    fair to other candiates just as well qualified and maybe better than themselves.
    Will the Labour Party say anything at all…………

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