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'Essential' for former DDDA chief to appear before PAC

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Former Dublin Docklands chief Niamh Brennan.

Former Dublin Docklands chief Niamh Brennan.

Former Dublin Docklands chief Niamh Brennan.

THE chairman of the powerful Public Accounts Committee has said it is essential the former Dublin docklands chief Niamh Brennan answers questions from TDs on decisions taken under her leadership.

It has emerged that Ms Brennan (pictured above) is refusing to appear in front of the PAC due to fears that the committee's work has become "unfairly and inappropriately adversarial and personalised".

Ms Brennan was appointed chairperson of the scandal-hit Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) in 2009 following the collapse of the deal involving €412m Irish Glass bottle site.

The disastrous project has already cost the taxpayer €52m and has been scrutinised by the PAC for several years. But attempts to haul Ms Brennan in front of the PAC have so far failed following claims by the UCD professor that she has been subject to "inappropriate and personal attacks" from other DDDA officials during previous hearings.

"The combination of personal attacks, factually incorrect evidence provided to the committee and threats made in the event that I appear before the committee heighten my concerns that the committee's proceedings have become unfairly and inappropriately adversarial and personalised at the instance of some witnesses," Ms Brennan said in correspondence published in the Sunday Independent.

Speaking on RTE radio yesterday, PAC chairman John McGuinness said he will be vigorously pursuing Ms Brennan's attendance.

"I will be making every effort to ensure she can come and give evidence," he said.

Irish Independent