Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has stated that the line between judicial appointments and politics is non-existent in so many cases, and has panned multiple parties in the Dáil for only being concerned about the issue when they aren’t picking the judges.
Tóibín: “Irish people know more about the selection of Supreme Court Judges in the US than in Ireland. Many people look down their noses at the political nature of the system in the US while ignoring the political wheeling and dealing that goes into the selection process in Ireland”.
The FF, FG, Green government have u turned significantly from a pressing need for the Oireachtas to deal with this issue to batting the problem back over the river. Their final decision is the correct one. The idea that the government would decide to hold level an investigation to the difficulties on the Supreme Court and then search around for an allegation to base it upon shows you the dangers of the pollical system meddling in the Supreme Court.
There have been far too many instances of politics and judicial appointments being too closely intertwined. The Séamus Wolfe selection is only the latest instalment in a long history political interests deciding the makeup of the court.
Our own Chief Justice Frank Clarke was a speechwriter to former Taoiseach Garrett Fitzgerald, election agent to FG Minister George Birmingham and unsuccessfully ran for the Seanad. The very same Minister Birmingham went from being a long serving FG TD and Minister to now being the incumbent President of the Court of Appeal.”
“I note the outspoken comments of Alan Kelly’s Labour on the matter, however his own party helped political friends of their party onto the Court. In an almost parallel fashion to the appointment of Wolfe, Labour’s Máire Whelan was appointed from AG to the Court of Appeal notwithstanding the applications of other judges and candidates for the role”.
A four time running mate of ex-Taoiseach Enda Kenny was appointed to the District Court. Another nominee was the sister of a Labour Party Senator, and sister to the Labour Mayor of Dublin married to a Labour Party Government TD. The former election agent of Labour MEP Nessa Childers was also nominated. The list goes on.”
“There needs to be thorough de-politicisation of the judicial appointment process, and the Dáil needs to be empowered in its oversight over the appointment of judges. The Courts are charged with the care of our laws and our people – not to be a source of jobs for those with the right contacts.”