Tuesday 20 March 2018

Taoiseach says he has yet to receive report on Mitchell

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisted yesterday that he still hasn't received his own party's internal report on the Mahon Tribunal, which will decide the future of TD Olivia Mitchell.

The inquiry is looking at whether Fine Gael should take action against Ms Mitchell over a tribunal finding that a donation she got was "inappropriate".

The long-awaited report was supposed to be finished by the end of last month.

Ms Mitchell appeared before an internal disciplinary committee investigating the tribunal report last week.

Fine Gael is under pressure to show it is taking the report seriously, but the party is split on what action to take against Ms Mitchell.

"I sent the entire Mahon report to the (relevant) agencies and the authorities, including Fine Gael," said Mr Kenny.

"That's a completely independent, internal disciplinary matter for Fine Gael and I have not received any report back from that disciplinary committee."

Yesterday, a spokesman said the report would be completed "in the immediate future".


The probe could exonerate Ms Mitchell or recommend a sanction such as suspension or even expulsion from the party.

Fine Gael sources are adamant the process will not drag on and it will be finished this month.

The planning tribunal found it was "inappropriate" for Ms Mitchell, then a councillor, to have received a donation in 1992 of IR£500 from disgraced former government press secretary Frank Dunlop.

Several Fine Gael TDs told the Irish Independent last month they believe some disciplinary action will have to be taken against Ms Mitchell in light of the report.

But it was also reported that the veteran TD will resign her Dail seat entirely if the party whip is removed from her, causing an unwanted by-election for the Government in a volatile constituency.

Ms Mitchell declined to comment on these claims.

Some close to Ms Mitchell want a decision as quickly as possible. However, they also point out that she has fought her corner hard, with strong support from party allies.

Fine Gael has been split on the issue, with some TDs suggesting it would be overly harsh to censure her, and others saying the party must not be seen to be ignoring the tribunal report.

Irish Independent

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