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

5:55 pm

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

On the section itself, I wish to return to the issue of committees making findings of fact. When we initially looked at these matters and considered the Abbeylara judgment, that was one of the key concerns. Obviously, the failure of the referendum meant that additional powers required by the Oireachtas are not available. In that context, I ask the Minister to give some reassurance to the committee that the provision to allow for findings of fact is firmly couched within the current constitutional provisions. It was very clear that when the question was put to the people in the referendum, they were not minded to expand the powers of the Oireachtas in respect of inquiries.

The Abbeylara judgment made clear that making findings of fact is not without problems for the Oireachtas. I have raised this issue with the Minister before and I still have lingering concerns about the legislation.


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