Kenny rejects kangaroo court claims
Published 25/10/2011 | 18:22
The Taoiseach has shot down claims that proposed reforms of Oireachtas investigations would result in a kangaroo court.
The Tanaiste also dismissed opposition from eight former attorneys general who called for a No vote on two referendums - accusing them of being part of an old boys network.
Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore again urged people to vote Yes on the separate referendums this Thursday, to beef up power of TDs and senators in public interest investigations and reduce judges' pay.
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties claimed the proposals on parliamentary inquiries would mean a shift in power from the courts to the Oireachtas, resulting in a kangaroo court.
But Mr Kenny dismissed the charge as complete nonsense. "Matters of public interest are in the public interest," he said.
"Those who are elected to Dail Eireann or the Seanad Eireann serve on appropriate committees. They have a duty to be accountable to the people and to hold those who are in positions where public interest matters. They should be enabled to have questions answered in the public interest."
He said the most important part of this referendum was accountability.
"People all over this country have been suffering as a consequence of activities that took place in bank and lending institutions," he said. "People deserve to get answers. There's no question of kangaroo courts being set up here."
If the referendum on Oireachtas investigations is passed the Dail and the Seanad will have the power to conduct an inquiry into any matter that either or both consider to be a matter of public importance.
If the judges' pay referendum is passed, it would allow for their salary to be cut proportionately if and when public servants' pay is reduced in the public interest. It would also result in judiciary members becoming subject to the public pensions levy.