TDs warned Tweets will be analysed over Seamus Woulfe controversy
Stock photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
November 18 2020 08:38 PM
TDs have been warned their public comments and tweets will be analysed before they are allowed sit on an judicial impeachment committee.
The warning came during a briefing by Oireachtas legal advisers on the Seamus Woulfe controversy.
The briefing was arranged by Ceann Comhairle Sean O Fearghail after political leaders agreed to get legal advice on the constitutional crisis.
At a meeting of the Dáil’s Committee on Procedures, TDs were told an impeachment committee would not have the power to compel anyone to attend a hearing.
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They were told anyone who was asked to sit on the committee would potentially have their public comments examined to ensure they could be considered unbiased participants in the proceedings.
The difficulties presented to the Oireachtas by the controversy were laid bare in the meeting which was attend by TDs form all the main political parties and Independents.
Oireachtas legal adviser gave a presentation of their views on the crisis rather than present a report on their findings. However, TDs were told they will be given a copy of the legal advice.
They were told they would not be able to seek any further correspondence between Justice Woulfe and Chief Justice Frank Clarke, which are the centre of the constitutional crisis, before an impeachment motion was passed in the Dáil and Seanad.
“We can’t compel anyone and we can’t ask for any documentation because its not in our remit,” one TD who attended the meeting said.
It was noted that a motion to set up an impeachment committee was unlikely to pass either the Dáil or Seanad.