Wednesday 21 February 2018

John McGuiness to be quizzed by Public Accounts Committee

John McGuinness and his wife Margaret
John McGuinness and his wife Margaret

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

EMBATTLED Public Accounts Committee chairman John McGuinness is to answer questions from TDs on his own committee tomorrow.

Mr McGuinness has also agreed to vacate the chair of the Dail public spending watchdog for the duration of the session dealing with his views that the taxpayer should pay for ministerial spouses to travel abroad in some cases.

It is likely he will also be questioned about the €22,000 St Patrick's Day ministerial trip he, his wife and official went on in 2008.

Mr McGuinness was junior enterprise minister at the time, and he and his wife Margaret travelled business class, at a cost of €4,600 each.

Fine Gael TD Simon Harris has again questioned Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin's decision to nominate Mr McGuinness as PAC chair.

Mr Martin was senior minister in the Department of Enterprise at the time Mr MrGuinness was junior, and raised ethical concerns about Mr McGuinness wanting to bring his wife abroad.

He called on Mr Martin to take the necessary steps to save the committee from any further distraction, embarrassment and damage to its credibility.

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