Friday 24 November 2017

Watchdog wounded by political flak

John McGuinness
John McGuinness

Shane Ross

THE Dail's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is a pretty sniffy body. It looks down its nose at other Oireachtas committees. Uniquely, its members are deemed so distinguished that no substitutes are ever allowed.

The rules do not permit a mere senator within an ass's roar of its proceedings. Until recently, the vulgarity of voting was never indulged. This elite cabal, full of politicians, perpetuates the nonsensical fiction: that it is above politics.

Last Thursday, that little myth exploded. The PAC's proceedings were pure politics. Some members came to hang Fianna Fail chairman John McGuinness, others to save him. Politicians outside the committee were watching the proceedings eagerly. Nervous civil servants were believed to be glued to their screens in their offices.

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