Wednesday 22 November 2017

Frank Flannery: ‘Public Accounts Committee saw me as a slab of meat’

Frank Flannery
Frank Flannery

Former Rehab CEO Frank Flannery has said the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) saw witnesses ‘almost as slabs of meat’ and had a “feral attitude” towards him.

The former PAC Rehab Group chief also alleged that their pursuit of him was “an illegal activity”.

The PAC had been seeking to quiz Mr Flannery about his involvement with the state-funded charity and commercial group, which he acted as a lobbyist for in recent years.

However, this week it emerged that a ruling means he does not have to appear before the Dail's spending watchdog.

The Committee on Privileges and Procedures (CPP), ruled on Wednesday night that the PAC could not compel Mr Flannery and Ms Kerins to attend.

Speaking to Pat Kenny on Newstalk this morning, he said he didn’t understand what their motivation was: “Why would a committee of lawmakers become a group of lawbreakers? And in the process do enormous damage to organisations and individual citizens?”

Mr Flannery alleged that PAC Chairman John McGuinness was intent on winning headlines with PAC’s pursuit of him.

“All he is interested in winning headlines from attacking individuals. Trying to force chief executives out their offices. Making a big hullabaloo out of the cars that they drive. All personal private details.”

He also defended his decision not to appear in front of the PAC.

“I would have been another warm body for them. They saw witnesses almost as playthings, almost slabs of meat.  Not only was this committee beginning an assault on the organisation I loved, it extended that assault to me.

"They also expressed their desire to attack every organisation in the not-for-profit world. They would have caused mayhem if someone had called a halt to their gallop.”

Earlier on Sean O’Rourke, Mr Flannery alleged the PAC pursuit of him was not “unrelated” to his former position in Fine Gael.

Mr Flannery claimed that PAC had acted “outside of the law” in their attempts to compel himself and Angela Kerins to appear.

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