Fianna Fáil Senator and Leas Chathoirleach of the Seanad Denis O’Donovan has refuted allegations from the Minister for Finance that Fianna Fáil pulled a stroke in appointing two Senators to the banking inquiry committee.
Senator O’Donovan chaired the Committee on Selection, which nominated Senators Marc Mac Sharry and Seán Barrett.
He commented: “It is extremely disingenuous and wrong for the Minster for Finance and other Government representatives to paint a picture that Fianna Fáil pulled a ‘stroke’ in appointing two Senators to the banking inquiry committee.
“As Chair of the Committee, it is insulting to be accused of presiding over a stroke. As Fine Gael Leader in the Seanad, Maurice Cummins, stated on the record of the Seanad last week, the democratic process was adhered to in the selection of the nominees to the banking inquiry committee. In fact, I, as chair, would have facilitated an adjournment of the Committee on Selection if any representation was made to me on that matter prior to the vote being taken.
“Fianna Fáil is the largest opposition party in the Seanad with 14 representatives and if, as the Government say, there should have been one Government and one opposition representative on the committee then Fianna Fáil would have had a nominee anyway. The Government were caught out when they tried to dictate which opposition representative would be on the committee, when they failed to get their own Senators to show up for the vote they were found out.
“Instead of accepting the democratic result, the Government has cynically changed the goalposts and added two more members and effectively assaulted the democratic process.
“The Government has been frantically trying to muddy the waters here and blame Fianna Fáil for their ham-fisted attempts at saving face. The public is already disillusioned with politics and the conduct of the Government of the past 2 weeks has been nothing short of a disgrace.”