Monday 11 December 2017

Gerry Adams concedes Sinn Féin may not put forward motion of no confidence in Attorney General

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams

Philip Ryan & Niall O'Connor

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has conceded that his party may not be able to table a motion of no confidence against Attorney General Marie Whelan over her role in the shock retirement of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

Soon after the publication of the controversial Fennelly Report, Sinn Féin quickly signalled its intention to table motions against Ms Whelan and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Speaking ahead of the Government’s counter motion of confidence in the Taoiseach today, Mr Adams said his party may not put forward their motion in the AG.

Read More: No-confidence motions branded publicity stunt as Taoiseach backs AG

“The AG is constitutionally protected from motion of no confidence,” he said.

Asked if he was playing games with politics by putting forward a motion of no confidence in the AG knowing she is constitutionally protected, Mr Adams said: “It’s our game to play politics”.

“It’s our game to make politics. It’s our game to present our concerns in political discourse which informs the citizens and make the whole business of politics accountable,” he added.

Mr Adams said he “very consciously” put forward the motion as he believes the Taoiseach and the AG should resign.

“In fact as you heard the Government should go,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin has accused the Labour Party of categorically backing the Taoiseach in order to protect the Attorney General.

Maire Whelan was a Labour Party appointee to the senior legal post.

"The report reveals very serious issues in terms of the Attorney General's behaviour on this manner and the degree to which herself and the Taoiseach clearly set in train in a series of events that effectively led to the sacking of the garda commissioner," Mr Martin told reporters today.

"Clearly, Labour put a lot of store in elevating the Attorney General to that position and clearly they feel vulnerable and defensive on that," he added.

Mr Martin said Mr Kenny tried to "bury" the Fennelly report by releasing it just 20 minutes before the Six One News.

He said Mr Kenny's decision to dispatch Brian Purcell to Mr Callinan's home was a "an abuse of power by the Taoiseach".

"In any democratic society, the Taoiseach's behaviour was wrong, fundamentally wrong and unethical. wrong in any democratic society. It was an abuse of power and an abuse of position," Mr Martin.

"And to hear the Taoiseach this morning, try and reduce this to you know 'the Opposition is playing political games, I think is farcical. It reveals that the Taoiseach's credibility is shot on this issue."

Online Editors

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