Monday 26 September 2016

PAC inquiry only served as glory for politicians

Angelia Kerins claimed that the PAC hearing was the result of a vendetta against her, writes Paul Williams

Paul Williams

Published 17/07/2016 | 02:30

'PAC member Mary Lou McDonald, who, like her leader Gerry Adams, sneers on the fence claiming corruption and cover-ups at every turn while ignoring the vast amount of corruption and cover-ups (including murder, child abuse and racketeering) in the republican family.' Photo: Tom Burke
'PAC member Mary Lou McDonald, who, like her leader Gerry Adams, sneers on the fence claiming corruption and cover-ups at every turn while ignoring the vast amount of corruption and cover-ups (including murder, child abuse and racketeering) in the republican family.' Photo: Tom Burke

Angela Kerins was an ideal candidate for evisceration at the hands of the pack of grandstanding politicians who make up the Public Accounts Committee.

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Displaying all the traits of the collective pack mentality, some - not all - of them, pushed each other out of the way in their haste to get in close and claim credit for inflicting another devastating wound on their helpless prey.

Ms Kerins may have been perceived as a member of a greedy elite: a woman whose remuneration package for running the country's most successful charity included a handsome €240,000, plus perks.

On February 27, 2014, the PAC pack subjected Ms Kerins to a seven-hour ordeal as they implacably pursued every morsel.

When her inquisition finally came to an end, Ms Kerins departed the PAC bear pit with her reputation, her self-esteem, her life, in tatters. And to what end?

So that Ross, McDonald and McGuinness, in particular, could parade around the arena as victorious, valiant gladiators and bask in the affirmation of the gullible, austerity-weary man in the street that they had indeed fought for his honour.

And the sheepish herd of independent (politically correct) minds that populate a lot of our media opted to swallow the PAC's populist stunt rather than make any serious effort to question the manner and method of Ms Kerins' interrogation.

No one, for example, has gone to any great pains to point out no evidence of wrong-doing has been adduced by the PAC.

However it was only this week that we discovered the full consequences of Ms Kerins's public humiliation, when her lawyers opened judicial review proceedings against 13 named members of the 2014 PAC, chaired by John McGuinness.

Kerins has claimed there was a PAC "vendetta" against her, and she was questioned about her salary, her car, bonus payments and family members.

Her lawyer, John Rogers SC, a former AG, has told the three judges specially empanelled to hear the landmark case, that the committee showed bias against his client, conducted itself unlawfully and acted outside its remit.

Central to what Ms Kerins seeks from the court is a declaration that the committee had no jurisdiction to examine or report on expenditure of money by the Rehab Group, in particular expenditure concerning herself.

The questioning of Angela Kerins was a clear example of the "new" highly toxic politics that has evolved in this country on the back of the economic crash. In this new poisonous environment we have people who tell us that they were elected, not to govern, it seems, but to sit on the sideline objecting.

PAC member Mary Lou McDonald, who, like her leader Gerry Adams, sneers on the fence claiming corruption and cover-ups at every turn while ignoring the vast amount of corruption and cover-ups (including murder, child abuse and racketeering) in the republican family.

TDs do not deserve our trust, which is why it was so fortuitous that five years ago the people voted to reject an amendment which proposed giving the likes of the PAC pack the power to conduct even more rigorous witch-hunts.

Sunday Independent

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