The new Taoiseach must halt the appointment of the former Attorney General as a judge and come before the Dáil next week to answer questions on all the circumstances surrounding the filling of the Court of Appeal vacancy, the Social Democrats’ co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said today.

Deputy Shortall said:

“This issue is a crucial first test of the leadership and integrity of the new Taoiseach. How can he stand over a judicial appointment that by-passes normal procedures in the grubbiest of ways?

“Mr Varadkar must come before the Dáil next week and give a full account of this murky affair, which totally undermines public trust in our political system. If the new Taoiseach genuinely believes his manifesto statement that Fine Gael is a party of integrity and open politics, then he must do the right thing and put the appointment on hold until we know all the facts.

“There are very serious questions about the appointment and whether all the Ministers around the cabinet table were fully informed before they nodded this through. Were all Ministers advised that there were other applicants for the post, as has been reported?  What was the process for considering other applicants? Is it the case that the Attorney General did not recuse herself from cabinet discussions on her appointment? This issue is far too serious to be swept under the carpet and how it is handled is a crucial litmus test for the new Taoiseach.”


16 June 2017

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