Fianna Fáil’s Dáil Candidate in Kildare North, Cllr. James Lawless, has hit out at local Fine Gael TDs for their silence on the parliamentary privilege row raging over the weekend. Cllr. Lawless, who trained as a barrister at Kings Inns, says that the Fine Gael silence on the issue is deafening and slammed the “silence of the lambs” in Kildare.

“The right of elected parliamentarians to make statements in the house without fear of litigation is absolute” stated Cllr. Lawless. “Article 15.13 of our constitution enshrines that right and it is a pillar of modern democracy, not just here in Ireland, but across the common law world. If there are abuses of it, and that can happen, the answer is not to injunct half the national media, but to tackle it in the proper manner, through the internal procedures of the house. This is an absolute right and only the citizens of Ireland can alter that in any way through referendum. It is an assault on parliamentary democracy and on our constitution to even humour any other scenario” continued Cllr. Lawless.

“The government has totally abdicated responsibility on this issue but then it is the same government that attempted constitutional vandalism on our senate in an attempt to increase their stranglehold on executive power and again insulted the Irish people with a totally unnecessary and unwanted referendum on presidential age last weekend. Not to mention Senator McNulty and the amazing nomination that never was when the Taoiseach wanted to elevate him to a parliamentary seat”.

“Across the country Fine Gael representatives have remained silent as the grave whilst democracy is attacked, even here in Kildare where the TD at the centre of the storm is a colleague, they should be strong enough and mature enough to defend their parliament and their constitution”.

“I am calling it for what it is, an attack on democracy, and a shameful attempt to subvent the constitution. Government representatives are implicit by their silence” concluded Cllr. Lawless.