The Supreme Court judgment, and my particular skin in that game.

The Supreme Court judgment in the case of Angela Kevin’s has concluded that she was treated unfairly, and that the Public Accounts Committee were acting outside of their remit, in other words, they acted unlawfully.

I am bemused to see so many media people now agreeing with this judgment, and turning their ire on that particular PAC’s behavior, and on a few individuals in particular. I am glad to see this, but I am left with the question:  why did none of these commentators say that at the time. I followed the whole saga closely, and, while I may have missed someone’s contribution, I do not remember anyone critiquing the behavior of the PAC at the time. In fact the media generally were lapping it up. The One o’Clock news on RTÉ in particular were giving prominence to particular members of PAC who came on air to attack Angela and others while the proceedings were still in progress, and current minister, Shane Ross, fulminated regularly in the Sunday Independent about  whoever happened to be appearing before them that week. It was disgraceful.

Let me be upfront;  I have skin in this game. At the same time PAC were demanding that my brother, Frank, would come before them. He refused, for precisely the reasons that the Supreme Court has now judged against the behavior of PAC. He said they had no entitlement to bring him before them, since it was outside their remit, and they also refused to tell him what exactly they wanted to question him about. As we now know, they were in the habit of questioning people on aspects of the person’s life that were none of their business.

Frank was attacked by many media people for his refusal to go before them, so I am reading some of the current articles criticising the behavior of members of PAC with a degree of cynicism. Wasn’t all that blindingly obvious at the time? Why did they not say it then?

But my main resentment is reserved for the then Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. In the midst of this controversy, and while Frank was doing his best to explain his reasons (now shown to be totally valid) for not attending, Kenny came out publicly and called on him to attend the hearing. That set loose the media hounds, who wrote some of the most vile and nastiest articles about him. (I am well aware that I am not exactly objective in all this!). 

So for me last Wednesday, the day the Supreme Judgment was published, was a happy day. If the Supreme Court judgment results in a lessening of the power of Dail Committees, certain individuals within that particular Public Accounts Committee bear the responsibility for this. Hopefully these same individuals will be held accountable for their behaviour.