Sunday 25 February 2018

Mary Lou claims 'political insiders' are targeting her

Mary Lou McDonald
Mary Lou McDonald

Niall O'Connor and Daniel McConnell

SINN Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald complained that she has become a target of "political insiders" as a result of her decision to name senior politicians accused of having Ansbacher accounts.

Ms McDonald yesterday stood by naming the individuals, some of whom are former Cabinet members, as it emerged she is facing the prospect of being reprimanded by the Dáil.

Both chief whip Paul Kehoe and Fianna Fáil are considering tabling a motion of censure against Ms McDonald in a move that could result in her being formally sanctioned.

Fianna Fáil chief whip Sean O Fearghail said a decision on whether to table a motion will be debated at today's meeting of the parliamentary party.

"Mary Lou McDonald should do the honourable thing. She should stand up and admit that what she did was wrong and that it was a political stunt," Mr O Fearghail told the Irish Independent.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton also criticised the Dublin Central TD for refusing to accept she did anything wrong in naming the former politicians.

"I think you have to question what Mary Lou's motive is and what she is looking for in not accepting that these matters have been investigated fully," he said.

But speaking yesterday, Ms McDonald suggested that she has been unfairly treated by "political insiders" since her decision to repeat the names of individuals listed in a dossier compiled by whistleblower Gerry Ryan.

She also said that she would be willing to apologise to the individuals she named if it was proven, following a formal investigation, that they did not have Ansbacher accounts.

Using Dáil privilege in November, she named former ministers Desmond O'Malley, Ray MacSharry, Gerard Collins, Maire Geoghegan Quinn, Richie Ryan, an 'S Barrett' and others as having offshore accounts.

Hours later, all five former ministers - and the family of the late Sylvester Barrett - denied the allegations.

Mr O'Malley, the former PD leader, told the 'Sunday Independent' last week that action should be taken against Ms McDonald after the Dáil's Committee on Procedure and Privilege found she abused privilege.

Irish Independent

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