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Flannery 'holding options open' on proceedings over PAC's Rehab inquiry

Angela Kerins has launched legal action against ‘deeply distressing’ inquiry into her involvement with Rehab.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated at 19.15

FORMER REHAB CHIEF and Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery has said he is “holding his options open” as regards pursuing legal action over the PAC’s inquiries into Rehab.

Speaking at the MacGill Summer School in Donegal this evening, Flannery said he is “of the view that [the Dáil] itself should do its own policing and look after its own affairs”, and “if the PAC continue its investigation against Rehab it is doing it in utter defiance of the CPP which says that it is totally unlawful to do so.”

Flannery also said he is “not surprised” that former Rehab Group Chief Angela Kerins has launched High Court against against the PAC “following on from everything that’s happened to her.”

Asked if he thought the Taoiseach was ‘out of order’, Flannery said:

I am just saying what I said and now the matter is in the High Court and it will be definitively adjudicated on there….I’ll make no further comment on that until we get to the result of the High Court action.

He added:

The answer is have I personal relationship with the Taoiseach now? No. Had I one with him? That’s a different question, I am not sure the situation has materially changed from what it was over the last couple of years.

Flannery also said he was not “whinging” but has experienced a “very tough time”, but “I’ve sustained it, I think, and I’m fine.”

The Committee on Procedure and Privileges last week declined to give PAC permission to compel Angela Kerins and Frank Flannery to attend a public hearing.

Speaking ahead of Flannery’s appearance at MacGill, Tánaiste Joan Burton said that if Flannery gets a request to go before the PAC, she would “certainly advise him to accept that request.”

“Clearly though, the CPP has indicated in its ruling and in the legal advice that when people come before the PAC – and I was a member of the PAC for a number of years myself – witnesses that come before it honestly, that they have to be dealt with, with a degree of respect and also with a sense of fairness and fair play,” Burton said.

Legal action

In a statement issued after legal proceedings today, Angela Kerins said that the PAC’s inquiries into her involvement with Rehab is “an unfair; unlawful and prejudicial investigation” against her, and said it raises issues “for everyone individual in this State”.

“The events surrounding my departure as Chief Executive Officers of the Rehab Group, an organisation that I have dedicated a large part of my working life to, have been deeply distressing for myself and my family.”

I have attempted through my legal advisors to avoid the legal impasse that has occurred and the unfair treatment I suffered at the Public Accounts Committee.

John Rogers is Senior Counsel for Kerins.

RTÉ News reports that the injunction is against the publication of any details of her employment or remuneration is being sought.

Read: PAC told they can’t force Flannery and Kerins to come before it >

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Nicky Ryan

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