Friday 22 September 2017

Colum Kenny: The prospect of calm, rational discussion is lost in a deep sea of raging accusations

A family who lost two members at sea is caught in the middle of a row over a compensation scheme, writes Colum Kenny

DID Fianna Fail's Frank Fahey TD abuse and assault a member of the Dail or Seanad? That was the claim made last week by one of the few people who cannot be sued for libel when they make false accusations. His accuser is another Dail deputy speaking inside the privileged chambers of the Oireachtas.

Fine Gael's Tom Sheahan TD stayed behind the doors of Leinster House to allege also that the Lost At Sea scheme, for which Fahey had been responsible when he was Minister for the Marine, was "all about money". He claimed that Fahey was "looking after two of his constituents".

Sheahan should repeat his claims outside the Oireachtas if he has evidence to back them up. That way, Fahey would have no excuse not to sue him for defamation. The former minister denies the charge of bias and denies that he assaulted anyone.

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