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With a member in Cabinet, how can Labour claim to be in opposition?

ger12

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Feb 25, 2011
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48,256
It was revealed yesterday by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny that Máire Whelan is to be reappointed AG.

A very surprising move considering the Attorney General has been embroiled in so much controversy during her administration. She changed her testimony to the Fennelly Commission leaving Justice Fennelly ‘puzzled’ and ‘perplexed’. The Government was found to have breached the McKenna Judgement under her watch. Most worryingly, she came out badly over the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the Siteserv controversy, one that it was revealed subsequently did not have the legal powers to do the job.

It was presumed that her time had ended as an AG with the Labour Party losing its mandate so dramatically.

The Attorney General is one of the most powerful and influential people in the State and also one of the least accountable. The AG sits at the cabinet table and every single piece of legislation goes through this office.
As a long time Labour Party member, having served as the Labour Party's finance secretary for a number of years, can Labour really claim that they're in opposition while Máire Whelan remains in Governemnt?

Fintan O
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Máire_Whelan
Top lawyer a political animal who is 'virtually unknown' to some peers - Independent.ie
http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/fennelly-report-attorney-generals-views-substantially-modified-351523.html
 


Betson

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It is a very strange appointment alight , considering the controversies she was involved in that questioned her judgement and that she was a Labour appointee from the previous administration.

It could be gender politics at play again.
 

Lúidín

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I suppose the appointment could be based purely on merit like all the others.

Only kidding.
 
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Is the AG not there on an advisory basis and lacking in a vote?

The AG isn't a member of government and can only attend cabinet on invitation.
 

Expose the lot of them

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Joined
Jan 15, 2009
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20,944
It was revealed yesterday by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny that Máire Whelan is to be reappointed AG.

A very surprising move considering the Attorney General has been embroiled in so much controversy during her administration. She changed her testimony to the Fennelly Commission leaving Justice Fennelly ‘puzzled’ and ‘perplexed’. The Government was found to have breached the McKenna Judgement under her watch. Most worryingly, she came out badly over the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the Siteserv controversy, one that it was revealed subsequently did not have the legal powers to do the job.

It was presumed that her time had ended as an AG with the Labour Party losing its mandate so dramatically.

The Attorney General is one of the most powerful and influential people in the State and also one of the least accountable. The AG sits at the cabinet table and every single piece of legislation goes through this office.
As a long time Labour Party member, having served as the Labour Party's finance secretary for a number of years, can Labour really claim that they're in opposition while Máire Whelan remains in Governemnt?

Fintan O
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Máire_Whelan
Top lawyer a political animal who is 'virtually unknown' to some peers - Independent.ie
Fennelly Report: Attorney general's views
When I saw the thread title, I thought is was a reference to the ghastly Zappone creature.
 

TARZAN

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Perhaps it was her handling of the Siteserv controversy that has ensured that she remains in office.
 

ger12

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When I saw the thread title, I thought is was a reference to the ghastly Zappone creature.
She is most Labour leaning alright but ran as an independent. The AG on the other hand is a Labour Party member for years and very much part of the Labour administration in the last government.
 

Betson

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I suppose the appointment could be based purely on merit like all the others.

Only kidding.
Can't be merit anyway , it says something when you see articles even in the the ultra liberal Irish Times calling her position into question over the last few years over her incompetence on several matters.

Kenny seems to like to surround himself with people like this.
 

ger12

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Is the AG not there on an advisory basis and lacking in a vote?

The AG isn't a member of government and can only attend cabinet on invitation.
"The Attorney General has a unique role to play as a Minister.

One part of the Attorney General's role is that of a Cabinet Minister. In this capacity the Minister is responsible for representing the interests and perspectives of the Ministry at Cabinet, while simultaneously representing the interests and perspectives of Cabinet and consequently the Government to the Ministry and the Ministry's communities of interest.

The Attorney General is the chief law officer of the Executive Council. The responsibilities stemming from this role are unlike those of any other Cabinet member. The role has been referred to as "judicial-like" and as the "guardian of the public interest"."

https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/ag/agrole.php

It's a powerful position, and it seems it's occupied by the Labour Party despite them sitting on the opposition benches.
 

Boy M5

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Perhaps it was her handling of the Siteserv controversy that has ensured that she remains in office.
She is there as long as EK is there.
 
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"The Attorney General has a unique role to play as a Minister.

One part of the Attorney General's role is that of a Cabinet Minister. In this capacity the Minister is responsible for representing the interests and perspectives of the Ministry at Cabinet, while simultaneously representing the interests and perspectives of Cabinet and consequently the Government to the Ministry and the Ministry's communities of interest.

The Attorney General is the chief law officer of the Executive Council. The responsibilities stemming from this role are unlike those of any other Cabinet member. The role has been referred to as "judicial-like" and as the "guardian of the public interest"."

https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/ag/agrole.php

It's a powerful position, and it seems it's occupied by the Labour Party despite them sitting on the opposition benches.
Err, that link and quote refer to the role of the AG in Ontario.

It includes these words:

There are various components of the Attorney General's role. The Attorney General has unique responsibilities to the Crown, the courts, the Legislature and the executive branch of government. While there are different emphases and nuances attached to these there is a general theme throughout all the various aspects of the Attorney General's responsibilities that the office has a constitutional and traditional responsibility beyond that of a political minister.
Emphasis mine.

Article 30.4 of an Bunreacht is specific:

The Attorney General shall not be a member of government.
 

Notachipanoaktree

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Jul 26, 2013
Messages
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It was revealed yesterday by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny that Máire Whelan is to be reappointed AG.

A very surprising move considering the Attorney General has been embroiled in so much controversy during her administration. She changed her testimony to the Fennelly Commission leaving Justice Fennelly ‘puzzled’ and ‘perplexed’. The Government was found to have breached the McKenna Judgement under her watch. Most worryingly, she came out badly over the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the Siteserv controversy, one that it was revealed subsequently did not have the legal powers to do the job.

It was presumed that her time had ended as an AG with the Labour Party losing its mandate so dramatically.

The Attorney General is one of the most powerful and influential people in the State and also one of the least accountable. The AG sits at the cabinet table and every single piece of legislation goes through this office.
As a long time Labour Party member, having served as the Labour Party's finance secretary for a number of years, can Labour really claim that they're in opposition while Máire Whelan remains in Governemnt?

Fintan O
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Máire_Whelan
Top lawyer a political animal who is 'virtually unknown' to some peers - Independent.ie
Fennelly Report: Attorney general's views
Why would anybody be surprised by the patched-up liberal use of band-aids to attempt to cover-up for what laughingly is presented to us as a Government.
The people have stated, without equivocation, NOT YOU, shower of dummies. What do the people get? YOU, shower of dummies.

At this stage, nothing but the Halifax Gibbet can cure our ills.

e.g. Poor Pascal and Marie (to name but two) are being presented to the nation as the wave of the future. May jebus protect and defend us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDuqZbjxB_E

BREAKING!!! UFO ALIEN DISCLOSURE By Canadian Minister of Defence. If it can happen so convincingly in Canada then........................................
 
Last edited:

asset test

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I think Kenny trusts her with sensitive stuff, read between the redacted lines and Nama here.

She knows where the bodies are buried too I reckon.

She is a NAMA expert apparently. Made a few faux pas already though didn't she?
 

automaticforthepeople

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Jun 22, 2012
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AG does not vote in cabinet but advises both cabinet and ministers on points of law. The last really political AG was McDowell, John Rodgers and before that it was Declan Costello or John Kelly. AG seems to go back to the office and wait for a government Department to make contact.
FF don't seem to go for political AG's relying on the Secretary General to drive policy while the rest of them jump up and down shouting "Yahooo"!
 

NYCKY

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Apr 17, 2010
Messages
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I don't believe the AG has a vote, kind of like the super junior Ministers, but yea it is surprising. The AG is a plum job (often leading to a High court appointment) so it is surprising that Enda didn't give it to one of the Fine Gael boys or girls.
 

Idigress

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Mar 25, 2014
Messages
90
I don't know enough to comment on her performance. But, as AG is not an explicitly political position and she is not answerable to the party of which she is presumably still a member, Labour could hardly be accused of still being in government.

Assuming no sinister explanation, Kenny deserves credit for retaining Whelan rather than replacing her with a political appointment.
 

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