Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Department of An Taoiseach
Office of the Attorney General
46. To ask the Taoiseach the full extent of the special and exceptional arrangements made by the Government to facilitate the appointment of the new Attorney General in June 2020, which allowed for the continuation of private litigation while at the same time serving as Attorney General. [49071/21]
47. To ask the Taoiseach the full extent of the level of private litigation engaged in by the serving Attorney General during his time in office; the timelines involved; and if any of the case outcomes are still awaited. [49072/21]
48. To ask the Taoiseach if he will provide a full account of each and every private client of the Attorney General during their time in office since June 2020; and the extent to which the Attorney General acted on behalf of or advised, the directors or shareholders of a company (details supplied). [51336/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 46 to 48, inclusive, together.
The Attorney General was appointed in June 2020 in accordance with provisions of Article 30 of the Constitution. There were no special or exceptional arrangements applying in this regard.
While I have responsibility for answering questions on administrative matters connected with the Office of the Attorney General, I have no function in respect of the detail of the Attorney General’s professional engagements outside of his role as Attorney General.
Prior to his appointment, the Attorney General informed me and I informed the other leaders of the parties in Government that he had a small number of existing litigation commitments that he considered he had a professional obligation to discharge. It was agreed that he would do so.
The Attorney General’s involvement in these matters dates back to 2011 in one case and 2017 in two others. The first matter related to the State recapitalisation of Irish Permanent. The Attorney General was involved in one hearing in that matter in November 2020 and his involvement ceased at that time. The second matter related to a commercial dispute and the Attorney General's involvement ceased in February 2021. The final matter related to the Inspectors investigation into certain matters relating to INM and involved a hearing on two Saturdays, 18 and 25 September 2021. The Attorney General's involvement in that matter ceased on 25 September. He has no continuing private professional obligations. I would note also that the Attorney General is bound by a duty of confidentiality to his clients.