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There's been ANOTHER twist in 'Mary Lou vs the Dáil'

She’s not saying sorry.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

MARY LOU MCDONALD has reiterated that she stands over naming former politicians in the Dáil chamber who were accused of having held offshore Ansbacher accounts to evade tax.

Those named have denied the allegations. McDonald said she accepts “people’s right to their good name”, but won’t be apologising as she has done nothing wrong.

Sinn Féin’s deaputy leader said: “I absolutely refute any suggestion that I abused Dáil privilege”, stating that she exercised it in a “very mindful, thoughtful and responsible way”.

She said the allegations raised were of “the most grave public concern” and called on Enda Kenny and the government to launch an investigation. 

McDonald added that the dossier in question contained “very serious allegations that go to the core of good governance and good political practice” and “will not go away”.

The Committee on Procedures and Privileges (CPP) recently ruled that she abused her Dáil privilege by naming the individuals.

McDonald said she has “huge reservations and concerns about the entire procedure embarked upon by the CPP” and “will write to them again” to highlight this. She said she was “fully compliant with standing orders” and was “solely an exclusively driven by the public interest and the seriousness of the allegations made”.

Responding to reports that government chief whip Paul Kehoe is going to write to Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett recommending she be sanctioned, McDonald said: “There’s no merit, no reason for any motion of censure in respect of myself.”

McDonald also claimed that some “political insiders” have been unfairly critical of her:

A harsh commentary has been adopted by political insiders in respect to me and that contrasts quite dramatically with lack of commentary in respect of other public figures or political figures now or in the past – who, in the real world, people would have judged to have done real damage to people’s lives, to their livelihoods to their standard of living. I just want to make that point.

“I’m well able for the slings and arrows of politics,” she added.

Party leader Gerry Adams said Sinn Féin “stands shoulder to shoulder with Mary Lou”.

Distraction

McDonald suggested criticism of her may be a distractionary tactic.

Unsurprisingly, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton disagrees, describing it as “totally untrue”.

He told reporters this afternoon: “This matter has been investigated fully by the Revenue Commissioner, by the gardaí, by two tribunals, and by the ODCE [the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement]. What other investigations are necessary?”

I think you’d have to question what Mary Lou McDonald is looking for and what are her motives in not accepting such allegations have been fully investigated.

He said the Oireachtas committees involved will decide whether or not to proceed with censure of motion and he’s “not going to express a view at this point”.

Read: The government has a grand plan for unemployed construction workers…

Read: Mary Lou’s sticking to her guns in her row with the Ceann Comhairle

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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