Government and opposition figures defend Dáil privilege

Paschal Donohoe
Transport minister Paschal Donohoe

Transport minister Paschal Donohoe has added his voice to those speaking out in defence of the ten TDs in the Dáil committee on procedures and privileges (CPP) who are facing legal action.

It emerged this week that businessman Denis O’Brien is taking legal action against all ten members of the committee after it found TD Catherine Murphy did not abuse parliamentary privilege when making allegations against him in the parliament.

Mr Donohoe, defending the CPP, said: “Privileges that are available to members of the Oireachtas are an absolutely essential cornerstone to how democracy operates.”

It echoes the remarks made by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams.

Mr Martin said Mr O’Brien’s “proceedings represent a threat to a fundamental right enshrined in our Constitution, which is freedom of speech in parliament”.

Renua leader Lucina Creighton has also challenged the Taoiseach to issue a joint statement with opposition leaders in order to “defend the integrity of the House”.

She added: “The idea that any type of chill factor could be imposed on our national parliament is frankly completely unacceptable to me and Renua Ireland.”

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