Opinion Shane Ross

Wednesday 20 September 2017

We're in dangerous territory as Dail's most powerful cabal keeps its secrets

The increased role given to the CPP, the body in hiding directing our democracy, bodes badly for the Banking Inquiry

Independent TD Shane Ross
Independent TD Shane Ross

Shane Ross

THE most powerful Dail committee always sits in secret. Decisions are handed down to the Dail, where necessary, but otherwise no whisper of its activities is meant to reach the outside world.

The Committee on Procedure and Privileges (CPP) convenes in the grandest room in Leinster House. Its nine members (one vacancy) sit at the old cabinet table.

It is chaired by the Ceann Comhairle, who presides in an atmosphere of luxury and elegance. His seat is flanked by huge European and national flags. The carpet is priceless Donegal, its pattern directly reflecting the elaborate design of the ornate ceiling. At one end of the room is a massive portrait of Daniel O'Connell, at the other Speaker Connolly. In between the two, Parnell watches down on the proceedings. Other, lesser committees, like the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) sit in more Spartan surroundings below ground in the Leinster House dungeons. They provide seats for the public and the press. The CPP does not allow them inside the door.

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