Mary Lou McDonald should now apologise
Published 10/04/2015 | 02:30
The Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has made some worthwhile contributions to public debate, particularly in the Public Accounts Committee.
However, in what seemed like a blatant publicity-seeking move she made a series of wild allegations about named politicians in relation to alleged tax evasion connected to the Ansbacher accounts. All of those named, former members of Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats, have strenuously denied the allegations made against them.
She got it wrong. Despite the Dáil's oversight Committee of Procedures and Privileges finding that she abused her position and Dáil privilege, she has indicated she will not withdraw her unfounded allegations.
Dáil privilege is a powerful weapon and like all powerful rights it carries responsibilities. Using it in this way was not only an abuse, but it demeans and undermines a very necessary element of our democracy. Mary Lou McDonald needs to go into the Dáil at the earliest opportunity to apologise to those she named, and the Dáil in general, for this unwarranted and damaging stunt.