Tag Archives: catherine martin

This morning/afternoon.

Anyone?

Yesterday: Party Fears Too

Meanwhile…

From top: Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, Supreme Court Justice Seámus Woulfe and Green Party deputy leader and Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin
This morning.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin told Audrey Carville that the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee should not answer questions in the Dáil about former Attorney General Seamus Woulfe’s appointment to the position of Supreme Court judge.

Asked why she shouldn’t, Ms Martin said there’s a process in place for judicial appointments and “that was adhered to”.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the Taoiseach was not informed or involved in the process of putting Seámus Woulfe’s name to Cabinet and was not aware that at least three other candidates had expressed interest in the role.

Ms Martin said Ms McEntee explained to the Oireachtas Justice committee yesterday, when she gave a statement but didn’t take questions, that one name was brought before Government last July.

Ms Martin said “she [McEntee] considered expressions of interest and one name was brought before them”.

Ms Martin said it would be unprecedented for a minister to be brought before the Dáil to answer questions on a judicial appointment.

She added:

“I believe it would set a dangerous precedent to go into such detail on an individual appointment and I don’t believe that would serve the separation of powers well.”

Ms Carville then asked Ms Martin about the three judges who reportedly wrote to the Government seeking to be considered for the Supreme Court role but whose applications were not relayed to Cabinet before Mr Woulfe was selected.

They had this exchange:

Audrey Carville: “Do you know, though, Helen McEntee made a statement but she didn’t answer questions, For example, the three judges who wish to be considered for the Supreme Court vacancy, do you know how she became aware of their interest?”

Catherine Martin: “That’s something that I’ll be talking to Helen about. I believe, like any appointment, you know, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are other applicants. So, as standard, the Minister for Justice considered expressions of interest from serving members of the judiciary, other judges eligible for the position and the recommendation of JAB (Judicial Appointments Board) and then brought one name forward…”

Carville: “But did those judges contact her directly do you know?”

Talk over each other

Martin: “There needs to be more consistency and transparency with this process and reform is needed and the Green Party would be seeking more transparency in relation to this. That is the process that is currently in place and that process would need to be reviewed and I think that the plan is now to move ahead with the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill to establish a single process. And that’s an acknowledgement that the change is needed.”

Carville: “The Taoiseach has said that he wasn’t aware that three actual judges were interested in the Supreme Court job. Did your party leader know?”

Martin: “My party leader, Minister [Eamon] Ryan said he wasn’t aware that it was one name. And that’s where the transparency and greater consulting of party leaders in any coalition needs to take place and that’s where reform is needed for greater transparency.”

Carville: “Do you know if Leo Varadkar knew?”

Martin: “I can’t speak for Leo Varadkar. I can only speak for the Government of which I am part of and, of course, there’s always room for improvement and for more transparency. One name came before Cabinet but maybe there should be greater consultation with the leaders? With the leaders. But Cabinet time itself is not best spent, asking the Cabinet to deliberate on three, or four, or five names. But in the current Government, where we have a three-party coalition, I believe there’s greater room for consultation and transparency around that process.”

Carville: “Yes, wouldn’t transparency be helped by the minister answering questions?”

Martin: “As I said, I don’t believe that that would serve the separation of powers well. I think there’s a risk it would descend into Opposition politics for the sake of Opposition politics and we have to remember the reality of the very adversarial nature of Dail Eireann. A one-and-a-half hour, two-hour questions and answers in this might actually prove counterproductive and I would be worried that damage would be done.”

Carville: “OK, just a final question on this. Are you satisfied it wasn’t a political appointment given, because Fianna Fáil were taking the Attorney General’s job in the new Cabinet?”

Martin: “I’m satisfied that Minister McEntee, as she outlined yesterday, adhered and complied with a process that is in place. But having said that, I believe, and the opinion of the Green Party is, that there’s reform needed here…”

Listen back here in full

Meanwhile, earlier, Morning Ireland presenter Mary Wilson spoke to Dr David Kenny, Assistant Professor of Law at Trinity College Dublin and they had this exchange:

Mary Wilson: “Is there any reason, constitutionally or within this separation of powers, why the Justice Minister couldn’t now take questions and clarify the process that she mentioned in the statement yesterday around the appointment of Mr Justice Woulfe?”

David Kenny: “No, I don’t think there is. It doesn’t seem to me that the separation of powers concern that’s been voiced by the Government is a valid one. The Government has a function in appointing judges and the Government is accountable to the Oireachtas for the performance of its functions. And in terms of explaining considerations that might have been at play, or factors that might have been under consideration, in making a decision that’s now somewhat controversial, it would be seem to me to be entirely appropriate that the minister would be willing to answer questions on that point.

“I think that relying on the fact that judicial appointments advisory board recommended Judge Woulfe as suitable for appointment is also not really an answer to that question. The advisory board performs quite a minimal role in ensuring that people are suitable for appointment. It doesn’t make final recommendations, it doesn’t recommend particular candidates and judicial candidates seeking promotion don’t go through that process. So I think simply saying that the appointments advisory board recommended Judge Woulfe for the role doesn’t really answer questions that the Opposition might have.”

Listen back in full here

Meanwhile…

This morning

Bjorn Janson (above), Deputy Executive Secretary of GRECO – the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption monitoring body – spoke to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland about GRECO’s concern about the manner in which judges are appointed in Ireland.

He said:

“We welcome the establishment of the judicial council in Ireland, this was a major achievement and we now wait for this council to start working.

“…and developing a code of ethics for judges, for institutionalising training for judges, etc. Another thing that remains is about the appointment of judges in Ireland.

“When GRECO was in Ireland, doing this assessment visit back in 2014, we assessed how the system worked and we found out that the judicial appointments board, the JAB, was a good pre-selecting body as such, but it selected a large number of judges and just passed them on, passed on the list to the Government for the decision. Which made this system look a bit political.

“And the objective of GRECO is to establish independence of the judiciary as a preventive tool against conflicts of interest and corruption.

Later he said:

“What was stated in the report by GRECO very clearly was that the selection should lead to a priority of the most suitable candidates and that the whole process should also be transparent so that the Government, it would minimise political appointments in the system.”

Listen back here

Eamon Ryan and Catherine Martin last night

Last night.

Brooks Hotel, Dublin 2.

Eamon Ryan won 994 votes to leadership challenger Catherine Martin’s 946 in a ballot of Green Party members.

Eamon Ryan said:

“It was a really close result. There is no two ways about that. The result could have gone either way. I will reflect on that.”

Catherine Martin said:

“There was diversity of opinion about going into coalition and about the programme for Government and that has been expressed but I believe we need to welcome those differences of opinion and be a welcoming space.

In relation to members that have left, I think it is very important that we engage with them.

I’ll be inviting them to talk to us and I’ll be asking them to stick with us.

Last night: Perchance To Dream

Yesterday: Not With The Programme

Tonight.

Earlier…

This afternoon.

Dublin Castle, Dublin 2.

Green Party leadership candidates Catherine Martin and Eamon Ryan attend a cabinet meeting ahead of an announcement of result  by the party at 7pm.

More as we get it.

From top: Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration Roderic O’Gorman and Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht Catherine Martin; From left: Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity Pippa Hackett ,Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport Eamon Ryan and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar

Earlier: Not With The Programme

Rollingnews

From left: Catherine Martin, Vincent Martin and Eamon Ryan at Leinster House in 2018

Vincent P Martin.

Green Party Kildare County Councillor, unsuccessful General Election 2020 candidate and brother of Green Party Deputy Leader Catherine Martin.

Among the incoming Taoiseach’s list of  11 Seanad nominees, which also include Mary Fitzpatrick, Lorraine Clifford Lee, Erin McGreehan, Timmy Dooley, Regina Doherty, Aisling Dolan, Emer Currie, Mary Seery Kearney, Róisín Garvey and Eileen Flynn.

Good times.

Previously: Bray Green Bad

Green Party Deputy Leader Catherine Martin and husband, fellow TD Francis Noel Duffy yesterday

This morning.

On RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Sarah McInerney.

Yesterday: With Eyes Wide Open

Martin to back deal when Greens vote as husband says no (The Herald)

Rollingnews

This morning.

RTÉ’s Fiachra Ó Cionnaith reports:

Four Green Party councillors have written to deputy leader Catherine Martin “urging” her to challenge Eamon Ryan for the leadership of the party.

Cork City and County Councillors Lorna Bogue, Oliver Moran, Colette Finn and Liam Quaide wrote to Ms Martin yesterday evening, saying they believe she and not Mr Ryan is “prepared to make difficult choices for the greater good”.

“In February, Ireland voted for change. We believe with your style of leadership, your convictions and your work ethic, you are the right person to lead the Green Party,” reads the letter, which has been seen by RTÉ News.

Martin urged to challenge Ryan for Green Party leadership (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

CgAo2pRWEAAw_hi

This shameful 47 days and counting delay is obstructing and impeding us from doing the urgent work we were elected to do. Although in a different time, this delay, this level of obstructionism would put in the ha’penny place, the obstructionist tactics deployed by Irish parliamentary MP Joseph Biggar in the House of Commons in the late 19th century.

Whereas the obstruction then was due to excessive talking, the obstruction now is due to a refusal to talk, a refusal to seek solutions. The stance adopted by political parties in refusing to even consider forming the most stable government to serve the people has been disingenuously represented by some as being somehow linked to being in the national interest.

How can the current strangulation of representative democracy, a choking of the workings of Dáil Éireann be in the national interest.

The reckless approach cares little for the tackling of the unprecedented crisis of homelessness, the escalating rental crisis, hospital waiting lists and climate justice. In case any party has forgotten, perhaps it is important to remind ourselves of the obvious, no one party won the general election but unfortunately it seems as if the people have lost.

Some political parties refuse to face up to and accept this new political reality, refuse to accept the change for which the people voted for in February. We should remember the words of George Bernard Shaw who said, ‘progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything’.

A Ceann Comhairle, it is all too easy to make noise, to instil division, to create dissent, to divide, to score points. The contrived party policy differences and the point-blank refusal of some to even consider talking to others, who also have a democratic mandate is simply unacceptable.

Enough is enough, the only losers in this charade are the people. It behoves political parties to act in the true best interests of the people of Ireland, not themselves or their parties.

While some members have worked very hard and displayed some political courage, others certainly have not. Instead, choosing to sit on their hands for the past seven weeks.

TDs are not elected to be silent or to run for the hills to take cover when the going gets tough. Now is the time when members should step up and speak up for the people who elected you. Put people before party politics

Green Party TD Catherine Martin speaking in the Dáil during her maiden speech yesterday.

Alternatively…

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 15.05.42

Deputy Enda Kenny has made every effort and shown his commitment since the general election to form a stable Government. The offer would have brought together the two largest parties in the State in an historic partnership and was, I believe, a bold offer and one worth making.

I regret it has not been accepted to date, but Deputy Enda Kenny remains determined to ensure Ireland will have a stable Government to address the many challenges facing the country and work to improve the lives of the people.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” We have taken on the responsibility of doing something.

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock speaking in the Dáil yesterday, as he nominated Enda Kenny for Taoiseach for the third time.

On March 10, during Mr Rock’s first nomination for Mr Kenny, he said:

When I was younger the Taoiseach gave me the advice of Thomas Jefferson – “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

I will stand with him today and always. He brought this party back from being written off. Far more important, he brought our economy and our country back when many had written us off. We should not lose sight of that.

As we mark 100 years of independence, we can look forward to a brighter future. I believe Deputy Enda Kenny is the man to bring us towards that brighter future. I am proud to nominate Deputy Enda Kenny today.

On April 6, during Mr Kenny’s second nomination, Mr Rock said:

Unfortunately, there are those who wish to take their seats in here while permanently committing themselves to hugging the Opposition benches tightly and pursuing their so-called ideological perfection instead of the reality of compromise and governance. Good for them. However, the reality is this country needs a government.

As Robert F. Kennedy once rightly said, “one fifth of the people are against everything all the time”.

I think the public can rightly guess which fifth of the people in here that phrase might describe. Let us hope they stay at that level of just one fifth.

Parliaments simply cannot afford too many passengers. We need decision-makers and people who are serious about forming a government.

Transcripts: Oireachtas.ie

90411250

This afternoon.

Leinster House, Dublin.

Newly forgiven Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, just elected in Dublin South, and Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin, a new TD for the Dublin Rathdown constituency.

Bloody hippies.

Earlier: Dan Boyle: The Germans Have A Word For It

Guess Who Just Got Back Today

Sam Boal/Rollingnews