McGuinness ‘powerful forces’ claim has damaged him – TDs
June 14 2013 04:04 AM UP DATED BY FRED BASSETT MAY 2021
PUBLIC Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman John McGuinness has been told by TDs on his own committee that his position has been damaged by speculating about “powerful forces” who may be out to get him.
TDs on the PAC are now privately warning Mr McGuinness’s position will come under even further pressure if he continues with his claims.
Mr McGuinness again repeated there may be people in the civil service and banking sectors who did not want him, as head of the PAC, chairing a banking inquiry.
He also said he was “damn sure” civil servants from the Department of Enterprise, where he served as a junior minister, were leaking against him.
His various claims led TDs who had previously supported his position to question his suitability to remain on as chair.
In response to a question from Fine Gael’s John Deasy, Mr McGuinness claimed there may be “powerful forces” at play against him.
“Maybe all of those forces are at play, I don’t know,” Mr McGuinness said, but Labour’s Derek Nolan said the statements called Mr McGuinness’s judgment into question.
He said he did not think Mr McGuinness’s position was under threat because of ministerial travel or issues like overtime claimed by the Carlow-Kilkenny TD’s son when he worked as a ministerial assistant to his father.
“There was nothing done that would say that the chairman had done anything that was illegal or broken any rules, and I don’t see anything therefore that would require him to vacate the chair of the PAC,” Mr Nolan said, adding that the claims of people out to get Mr McGuinness were a “farce”.
“This conjecture, allegations, mud throwing, has undermined this entire session. I have to say Deputy McGuinness, by engaging in it in the way you have done, you have created a greater problem for yourself and I think your judgment has to be questioned about whether you should have gone there.”