Monday 18 December 2017

Jury is out over Whelan Affair after ministers dodge questions

It's tough to know what the Government's motivations are over former AG Maire Whelan's new Court of Appeal role, writes Eoin O'Malley

Appointment: Maire Whelan has already been sworn in. Photo: Courtpix
Appointment: Maire Whelan has already been sworn in. Photo: Courtpix

Eoin O'Malley

Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald channelled her inner Theresa May last Wednesday night.

Confronted with pretty basic questions of fact, she chose evasion, though starting each response with: "Let me be very clear." She would then give something purporting to be an answer, which was anything but clear.

Instead of answers, she resorted to either faux outrage or constitutional protection. She expressed outrage at the suggestion that opposition TDs were denigrating judges. Even though they hadn't, she kept going back to Micheal Martin's remarks last Tuesday that Maire Whelan couldn't be favourably compared to other eminent barristers promoted to the bench.

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