Micheal Martin reacts to Niall Collins - says Oireachtas members should not get involved in criminal proceedings
Published 19/06/2014 | 17:01
Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has said Oireachtas members should not involve themselves in criminal proceedings after his justice spokesman Niall Collins wrote to a judge on behalf of a criminal.
Mr Martin said he spoke to Mr Collins who earlier admitted writing to a judge on behalf of Hugo Porter (40) who was caught with €17k worth of drugs in Limerick.
After initially refusing to comment Mr Collins released a statement expressing his “regret” and insisting he made the representation due to “compassion and concern” for Mr Porter’s four children.
Mr Porter recently lost his wife to tragic circumstances.
Mr Martin said Mr Collins is “absolutely clear on the importance of an independent judiciary”.
“As a basic principle, I do not believe that Oireachtas members should involve themselves in criminal proceedings,” he added.
“In this case, where there are exceptional circumstances, Niall Collins has not sought to question the validity of the conviction and respects absolutely the independence of the sentencing judge.
“I understand that in this exceptional case, Niall Collins was acting only on the grounds of compassion for four young children who have already lost one parent in tragic circumstances earlier this year.”