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An infallible dogma saves politicians when the Attorney General speaks

Shane Ross


When faced with tough decisions, governments rely on their top lawyer to get them out of jail

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Attorney General Paul Gallagher. Picture by Tom Burke

Attorney General Paul Gallagher. Picture by Tom Burke

Advice from Attorney General Paul Gallagher is only advice, but it is treated like mysterious wisdom from the Oracle. Source picture by Tom Burke

Advice from Attorney General Paul Gallagher is only advice, but it is treated like mysterious wisdom from the Oracle. Source picture by Tom Burke

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Attorney General Paul Gallagher. Picture by Tom Burke

His Holiness Pope Francis must be green-eyed with envy this weekend. He is surely gazing longingly from his Vatican perch, agog at the Irish way of doing things. As the powers of the papacy diminish and he searches for alternative models of exercising undemocratic authority, he should look no further than the office of Ireland’s Attorney General. The pontiff will be dumbstruck with admiration for Ireland’s answer to papal infallibility.

Last week, the Government wheeled out that old political showstopper that trumps democracy — Attorney General’s Advice.


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