Thursday, 17 December 2020
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
I genuinely appreciate the Tánaiste's honesty. I accept that this documentation is not related to him. However, this is a serious issue for the Government and these questions will have to be answered pretty quickly. I have a real issue here. One of the central themes of what the Minister continuously says is that she followed the Cabinet handbook to the letter of the law. If, however, she followed the Cabinet handbook, why, all of a sudden, very early on the morning of 6 July, did she start a process to bring a memorandum to Cabinet to appoint Mr. Justice Woulfe, considering the Cabinet handbook says she must consult the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister, Deputy Ryan? That is a complete contradiction. Second, subsequent to that, after this was pulled by the Taoiseach for some reason we do not know and which we need to know, why was the appointment of a Circuit Court judge added to the Cabinet agenda? Third, why did the previous Minister for Justice and Equality, in the middle of a general election campaign, ask for the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board, JAAB, to meet to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, but went against the advice of his officials who felt there was not an urgency in the appointment of that position and that it would be unusual for Department of Government to make such an appointment?