Ceann Comhairle apologises to Angela Kerins for PAC treatment
Supreme Court found committee acted unlawfully in treatment of former Rehab chief in 2014
Angela Kerins, chief executive of Rehab, arriving for the PAC meeting in 2014. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES
Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl has issued a personal apology to former Rehab chief executive Angela Kerins for the manner in which she was treated by the Public Accounts (PAC) committee during an appearance before it in 2014.
A judgment delivered last month by the Supreme Court which found PAC acted unlawfully as a whole in its treatment of Ms Kerins when she appeared before two hearings of the committee in 2014.
“The Kerins judgment was a watershed for us here in the Dáil,” Mr Ó Fearghaíl said on the Week in Politics. “There has been much commentary outside about the chilling impact that the Kerins judgment might have on the Oireachtas.”
“The only thing that I feel is chilling is that the Supreme Court found that a committee in the last Dáil had effectively broken the law, had trampled on the rights of Ms Kerins. That to me is chilling.
“I would personally apologise to Ms Kerins for the fact that that happened, and [it is]our absolute determination is to make sure that in what remains of the 32nd Dáil and in future that type of situation will not happen again.”