Shortall critical of Labour Party reaction to Fennelly report

Social Democrat TD says many upset with party’s ‘failure to speak out when necessary’

 Roisin Shortall: TD says the Dáil must be recalled to discuss and debate the report.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Roisin Shortall: TD says the Dáil must be recalled to discuss and debate the report. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

 

The Labour Party should have “stood up and spoken out” over the contents of the Fennelly report, Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall has said.

Ms Shortall said Mr Justice Nial Fennelly’s findings all led to the conclusion that Taoiseach Enda Kenny sacked the Garda Commissioner.

Asked if Tánaiste Joan Burton should have pulled the plug on the coalition, she said: “There are endless occasions where the Labour party should have stood up. A lot of people are disappointed with the Labour’s party failure to speak out when necessary.

“Fennelly report is one of those occasions, there are serious questions to be answered.”

Ms Shortall, who resigned from the Labour Party in 2012, said the report raises fundamental questions about the Department of Justice and the Office of the Attorney General.

She said the Dáil must be recalled to discuss and debate the report.

Ms Shortall was speaking as she, Catherine Murphy and Stephen Donnelly unveiled a number of new candidates to stand for the Social Democrats party.

Former Labour Senator James Heffernan, Independent Councillor Gary Gannon and communications spokeswoman for the party Anne-Marie McNally will run in the next general election.

Ms Shortall said the party would be revealing a number of others within the next two weeks.

Ms Murphy said there is no leader in the party and the three TDs will form a leadership team.

Ms Murphy said: “If you want more of the same, don’t look at us. We are not more of the same and we don’t want to be. We took this approach because we bring different strengths to the table.”

The Kildare North TD said the Social Democrats were not ruling in or out forming a coalition with any other party in the future.

She said the party was not chasing Cabinet seats but about bring political change.