Sunday 17 November 2019

Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald hits out at suggestions she faces censure over Ansbacher comments

Mary Lou McDonald
Mary Lou McDonald

Niall O’Connor

SINN Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has hit out at suggestions she faces censure over her controversial decision to name a number of former politicians accused of holding Ansbacher accounts.

Chief Whip Paul Kehoe is to ask the Ceann Comhairle to consider sanctioning Ms McDonald after she named the former politicians using Dail privilege.

The individuals, many of whom are former cabinet members, are listed as having offshore accounts in a dossier compiled by a whistleblower.

The whistleblower’s claims were probed by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) but no further action was taken.

Speaking in Dublin today, Ms McDonald suggested that she has been unfairly targeted over the issue.

“I absolutely respect peoples’ right to their good name. I absolutely accept that, unquestionably,” Ms McDonald said.

“I have made clear from the get go, that in the manner of the use of my privilege, I complied with standing orders, and I did it in a way that was solely and exclusively driven by the public interest and the seriousness of the allegations made,” she added.

Ms McDonald said she stands over the decision she made and that she ultimately wishes to see the matters investigated.

However, other members of the PAC have suggested that Ms McDonald’s position is now in question as a result of her actions.

Ms McDonald defended her actions as Sinn Fein launched its campaign supporting a ‘yes’ vote in the upcoming Marriage Equality referendum.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams called for the campaign to be about the right to equality and not about politics.

“In respect of the Marriage Equality Referendum, many of us will have a member of our family or extended family who is gay. All of us, whatever age we are or wherever we live or work, know someone who is gay,” he said.

“They want what we want – the right to live their lives as full and contributing citizens and to share in the love of a family of their own,” he added.

The referendum is due to take place on May 22.

Online Editors

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