Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform: Select Sub-Committee on Public Expenditure and Reform

Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2013: Committee Stage

6:05 pm

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

Section 9 provides a power of inquiry relating to the conduct of a Member of either House of the Oireachtas. I recall the public commentary and angst at the time of the referendum. There was a sense that committees could become Star Chambers or a facility for a witch hunt against a Member of either House. The scenario around the judgment in the case of Ivor Callely was very fresh in people's minds.

On this section of the legislation, will the Minister take this opportunity to set out the types of safeguard and the checks and balances that exist within the provision in respect of fair procedures for Members of the Oireachtas, specifically safeguards against anything that could be, whether by design or accident, a Star Chamber or a witch hunt?


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