The Ombudsman has branded the Oireachtas a fundamentally weak, rubber-stamping institution.
Emily O'Reilly has launched the stinging criticism after Fianna Fail last week ensured an Oireachtas Committee reject her findings on the controversial Lost at Sea fishermen's compensation scheme.
Ms O'Reilly has accused the Government of using the party whip system to act as the judge in its own trial.
"The chain of independence envisaged by the Oireachtas when it enacted the Ombudsman Act 1980 has been broken in this case," she said. "That can only be to the detriment of members of the public who have received unfair treatment at the hands of public bodies and who rely on the Office of the Ombudsman to provide a remedy for their complaints in a fair, effective and independent manner."
The Lost at Sea scheme was introduced in 2001 to help fishermen who lost fishing boats between 1980 and 1989.
Ms O'Reilly fought for the Byrne family from Donegal after they complained to her in 2004. Fisherman Francis Byrne died along with his 16-year-old son Jimmy and three other crew when the family boat, the Skifjord, sank off Donegal in 1981.
The Byrnes were denied compensation and their appeal centred on claims that the scheme was not widely enough advertised and they only became aware of it after the closing date for applications. The Ombudsman had ordered 245,570 euro compensation be paid but the Oireachtas has refused to support her.
Her report, published in December 2009 and given to the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, was voted down by nine Government aligned members of the Committee. Seven opposition members voted in favour of it.
Lost at Sea was brought in by Fianna Fail TD Frank Fahey and has been shrouded in controversy since the majority of the replacement capacity, worth about two million euro, went to two of his Galway constituents.
"I am very disappointed for the Byrne family. I have exhausted all the avenues open to me in my efforts to get their complaint satisfactorily resolved," Ms O'Reilly said. "I remain convinced as to the merits of the case and that the family deserved to be compensated as a result of the adverse affect they suffered from actions which, in my view, amounted to maladministration."