Pressure on Labour senator Denis Landy to report 'bribe'
LABOUR senator Denis Landy is taking legal advice about reporting a bribe offer to skip Seanad votes to the gardai.
Mr Landy has said he was approached by an individual who told him he would get flights and accommodation in New York if he stayed away from the Seanad last week – at a time when it was voting on the Seanad abolition bill and the abortion bill.
But he is now under significant pressure to pass on to the gardai the name of the person who made the offer, with the leader of the Seanad calling on him to do so.
Labour Seanad chief whip Aideen Hayden said that Mr Landy was taking legal advice about reporting the matter to the gardai.
"I think he's more or less keeping his mouth shut until he gets his advice. I think he's being wise in not rushing to go further with this until he has taken the appropriate legal advice," she said.
Ms Hayden said Mr Landy had already told fellow Labour senators about his concerns. She added that she did not doubt his word.
Ms Hayden said he had not named the individual who approached him or given any details on whether he was a politician or somebody from outside Leinster House.
"It is obviously a very serious matter if someone has attempted to subvert the workings of the house in this way.
"If his legal advice is to bring the matter further to the gardai, that's what he ought to do," she said.
Seanad leader Maurice Cummins called on Mr Landy to report the matter to the gardai. The Fine Gael senator told the Seanad that allegations of bribery and corruption were an extremely serious matter.
"I hope this matter, if not already reported, will be reported immediately by Senator Landy," he said.
Rebel Fine Gael senator Fidelma Healy Eames also called on Mr Landy to give the "truth" about what had happened.
"If someone attempted to bribe him to absent himself from votes in this house last week, then that is very serious," she said.
Mr Landy himself voted in favour of the Government's Seanad abolition bill yesterday.
But he did not make any comment on whether he would report the alleged bribe offer to the gardai when contacted by the Irish Independent.
Mr Landy told the 'Sunday Independent' last weekend that he had been gobsmacked to get the offer.
"I was approached by an individual in Leinster House and offered flights and a stay in a top hotel in New York should I go missing during this week," he said. However, Mr Landy did not take up the offer.