Monday 11 December 2017

Tanaiste claims Micheal Martin 'denigrates character' of ex-AG Maire Whelan

Maire Whelan with President Michael D Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Maire Whelan with President Michael D Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald has attacked Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin's alleged attempt to "denigrate the character and calibre" of the former Attorney General Marie Whelan.

Ms Fitzgerald referred to comments by Mr Martin in which he suggested Ms Whelan was not of the same standard as other Judges.

"The comments suggested that she is somehow of inferior character and ability when compared to others who have been appointed to positions in the Superior Courts while the party opposite was in Government," the Tanaiste said.

"The comments impact on the constitutional separation of powers which exist in this State," she added.

Ms Fitzgerald also defended the decision to appoint a person to the Court of Appeal who was not a judge.

"It is also in accordance with the law and the Constitution for the Government to nominate for appointment an eligible and qualified person who is not already a judge, even if there are  existing judges who have expressed interest in the appointment," she said

"These are the Constitutional prerogatives set down for the Government. If the Deputies across favour a change in the constitution in this area they should outline the alternative they favour," she added.

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