Politics

Wednesday 23 July 2014

PAC chairman John McGuinness says Niall Collins ‘shouldn’t have written’ letter – but backs decision not to sack him

Brian O'Reilly

Published 20/06/2014|08:26

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John McGuinness chairman of PAC
John McGuinness, chairman of PAC

THE outspoken chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness has backed Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin’s decision not to sack Niall Collins.

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The Limerick TD and the party’s justice spokesperson has been criticised for writing a letter appealing for leniency in the sentencing of a drug dealer.

He had faced calls to resign from his position as Fianna Fail’s Justice spokesperson in light of the scandal.

Leader Michael Martin refused to move the TD, and this morning one of the party’s most high-profile TDs has backed the decision.

“I take what Niall Collins did as an act of compassion It’s not something that’s done generally”, he told Newstalk Breakfast.

“He submitted the letter to point out the plight of the four children concerned.

“We can attach an importance to this that it doesn’t deserve. He wasn’t supporting a drug dealer or anything of that kind.”

However he said that in hindsight Deputy Collins may not have written the letter.

“It’s a letter that maybe in hindsight Niall Collins would agree himself he shouldn’t have written.

He refuted suggestions that it was a matter he should resign over.

“We reach for the call of resignation in Leinster House far too quickly”, he said.

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