Saturday 19 October 2019

Police suspects treated better than Kerins was - ex-Tánaiste

Received apology: Ex-Rehab boss Angela Kerins. Photo: Collins Courts
Received apology: Ex-Rehab boss Angela Kerins. Photo: Collins Courts
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A criminal suspect would have been given better treatment than ex-Rehab boss Angela Kerins was at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), former Tánaiste Joan Burton has said.

Ms Burton believes the members of the committee, which robustly quizzed the businesswoman on her salary and other matters in 2014, "need to reflect".

Among those in the spotlight are former PAC chairman John McGuinness, Transport Minister Shane Ross and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl has "personally apologised" to Ms Kerins, after the Supreme Court found the PAC "acted unlawfully" in its treatment of her.

She has claimed PAC members knowingly acted outside their remit, seeking commercial information and details of private earnings, rather than inquiring solely into Rehab services paid for by the HSE and Solas.

In the High Court, she claimed to have been subjected to "bullying, harassment and persecution", which led her to attempt suicide.

Ms Burton said: "I think part of the aggressive questioning was so aggressive that a suspect in a police station wouldn't face the same drawn-out questioning without any kind of comfort breaks or the ability to refer to advice."

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said he felt the Ceann Comhairle "spoke on behalf of the Oireachtas".

Irish Independent

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