Sunday 21 January 2018

Justice Committee should target the Government, not Purcell

The very public displays of frustration from members of the joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality yesterday evening were entirely understandable, but they took it out on the wrong target.

Members queued up to have a pop at Brian Purcell, the embattled secretary general of the Department of Justice, because of his refusal to answer questions regarding his role in events leading up to the resignation of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

But Purcell was placed in an impossible position. Despite the howls of protest, the reality is there was a very real basis to what he said: if he had answered such questions, there was potential for him to prejudice the upcoming Fennelly Commission of Investigation.

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