PAC to appeal High Court order in Kerins legal action
The Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is to appeal a High Court order that it disclose certain documents to former Rehab CEO Angela Kerins for her legal action against the committee.
Last week, Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy ruled Ms Kerins was entitled to certain documents used by the PAC relating to its probe into Rehab funding.
When the matter returned before her yesterday, the judge was told the PAC wanted to appeal her order because there would be a large amount of work involved in obtaining the documents which the PAC argued were not necessary for her case. If the PAC's appeal is successful, all the work in compiling those documents will have been in vain, it was argued.
In her action, Ms Kerins seeks a number of orders including one restraining the committee from pursuing further examination of Rehab's finances insofar as they relate to her former employment.
She is also seeking damages for alleged distress and injury to her health. She claims the PAC conducted itself unlawfully, showed bias towards her, acted outside its remit, and committed a misfeasance in public office. The PAC denies her claims.
Ms Justice Kennedy was told by John Rogers, for Ms Kerins, she was seeking an expedited hearing of her case as the composition of the PAC is likely to change by next year, if not within a few months, once there is a general election.
The judge said she would allow eight weeks for the defendants to make discovery of the documents, but she was prepared to grant a stay on the basis an appeal against her order is lodged within two weeks.
In her ruling last week, Ms Justice Kennedy said Ms Kerins was entitled to four categories of documents, including those relating to the PAC's terms of reference when a decision was made to commence examination of payments made to Rehab and which subsequently resulted in Ms Kerins' attendance before the PAC in February 2014.