Friday 19 January 2018

PAC show trial makes for good drama, but it doesn't serve the public interest

The pursuit of publicity will always come first when politicians are involved, writes Fionnan Sheahan, Group Political Editor

(L to r) David Martin of the CRC Chairman and current interim chief executive of the CRC, Jim Nugent Former CRC chief executive Paul Kiely following a Public Accounts Committee meeting (PAC) to examine top-up payments at the CRC in Leinster House, Dublin
(L to r) David Martin of the CRC Chairman and current interim chief executive of the CRC, Jim Nugent Former CRC chief executive Paul Kiely following a Public Accounts Committee meeting (PAC) to examine top-up payments at the CRC in Leinster House, Dublin
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

THE scriptwriters of Love/Hate and The Wire have got it all wrong. Amateurs. In their desire to drag out the plot line, they have the cops gathering large files of information, undertaking months of surveillance, compiling vast amounts of research and making sure all their evidence stacks up.

Nah, that's not how you conduct an investigation. Just do it the PAC way. Go straight for the show trial. Haul in the pantomime villains, don't bother doing all the homework, throw a bunch of questions in an uncoordinated fashion, crank up a few conspiracy theories and make it as dramatic as possible.

After all, it's not the actual outcome that matters, it's about grandstanding enough to get a soundbite on the six o'clock news.

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