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Press Release

11 April 2002

GOVERNMENT CHIEF WHIP AND MINISTER OF STATE TO THE TAOISEACH, MINISTER SEAMUS BRENNAN T.D. REACTS TO SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT

The judgement as delivered by the Supreme Court this morning regarding the Abbeylara Inquiry is disappointing and is a major setback to the role of the Houses of the Oireachtas in its Committee work.

Although I welcome the fact that this judgement is confined to "Abbeylara" type inquiries it no doubt casts serious implications on the future of the entire committee system. This system of committee inquiry has proved to be a welcome, innovative and cost effective alternative to Tribunals and other Public Inquiries. The Government together with Members of the Dail and Seanad will now have to study this lengthy judgement to ascertain what steps, whether by way of legislation or Constitutional referendum, can be taken to seek to restore some appropriate power and investigative authority to the Oireachtas and its Committee system.

ENDS /