Wednesday 16 January 2019

Kerins 'disturbed' by AG's comments she will 'lose' case

Angela Kerins. Photo: Collins Courts
Angela Kerins. Photo: Collins Courts
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Former Rehab boss Angela Kerins is understood to be "very disturbed" by comments made by Attorney General Séamus Woulfe about the Supreme Court case she had taken against the State.

Sources close to Ms Kerins said she was taken aback by remarks the Attorney General made about her legal case while speaking to a group of journalists.

"She is very disturbed at the report of remarks by the Attorney General to journalists in a case of which she is a party," the source said.

Mr Woulfe's comments "could be interpreted as the State seeking to influence" the outcome of a Supreme Court case, the source added.

They noted Taoiseach Leo Varadkar "made no attempt" in the Dáil to relay concerns raised by Independent4Change TD Mick Wallace about the Attorney General's comments.

Mr Wallace said Mr Woulfe "scandalised" the courts system by discussing an ongoing Supreme Court case at an Association of European Journalists' lunch last Friday.

"The Attorney General is involved in the nomination of Supreme Court judges. Should he be second guessing their decision-making in public before the decision is made?" Mr Wallace asked. "A previous government nearly fell over the behaviour of an Attorney General. Does the Taoiseach not think he should look for a new one? He might need to look for one himself if he does not."

Mr Woulfe predicted the Supreme Court will rule against Ms Kerins in her case against the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee.

His comments were made during an 'off-the-record' session but were reported by the Irish edition of 'The Sunday Times'.

Defending the AG, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he had discussed the issue with Mr Woulfe and was "satisfied with his clarification".

Mr Varadkar said no public statement was made and 'off-the-record' comments should be respected.

Mr Wallace also hit out at the AG's statements, on the record at the same lunch, about the Judicial Appointments Bill.

He described the legislation, which aims to remove the political influence from the selection of judges, as a "complete dog's dinner" due to a number of amendments made by the Opposition. Mr Wallace said it was "wholly inappropriate" for the AG to making such a comment.

Irish Independent

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