Sunday 26 February 2017

The Dáil committee was right to censure McDonald over parliamentary outburst

Laura Cahillane

While Mary Lou McDonald argued that the disclosure was in the public interest and that it was covered by privilege, the Committee disagreed and decided that the utterances were
While Mary Lou McDonald argued that the disclosure was in the public interest and that it was covered by privilege, the Committee disagreed and decided that the utterances were "in the nature of being defamatory and were prima facie an abuse of privilege"
Controversy has erupted again this week about Deputy Mary Lou McDonald’s decision to name naming certain persons in the Dáil on foot of allegations relating to tax evasion

Controversy has erupted again this week about Mary Lou McDonald naming certain persons in the Dáil on foot of allegations relating to tax evasion. A report by the Dáil's Committee on Procedure and Privileges concluded that Deputy McDonald had abused her parliamentary privilege by naming the individuals.

While she argued that the disclosure was in the public interest and that it was covered by privilege, the Committee disagreed and decided that the utterances were "in the nature of being defamatory and were prima facie an abuse of privilege".

The area of parliamentary privilege in Ireland is a grey one. TDs and Senators are accorded special immunities and privileges by the Constitution in order to enable them to properly discharge the functions of their office.

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