Fine Gael Agriculture Spokesperson Michael Creed TD has welcomed the decision of the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Agriculture to invite the Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly to make a presentation on the Special Report on the Lost at Sea Scheme.
“This is a welcome U-turn on behalf of the Government parties to finally allow accountability have its day. It is regrettable to say the least that Fianna Fail has procrastinated since December on this matter. This episode has done untold damage to the credibility and authority of the Ombudsman’s office. The fact that the Ombudsman had to resort to a high profile media campaign in order to compel Fianna Fáil and its coalition partners, the Greens, to allow justice take its course reflects the contempt this Government has for accountability and transparency.
“The true motivation of this eleventh hour decision further highlights the cynical way Fianna Fáil has handled this matter. The fact that it took the intervention of Minister Gormley on the eve of a Seanad Private Members’ Motion on the Lost at Sea Scheme, shows that it was not a thirst for truth that has lead to this development but rather political preservation.
“It is not sufficient at this point for the Ombudsman to merely make a presentation on this matter. There now needs to be a full Oireachtas Committee investigation into the Lost at Sea Scheme, where the Department officials the complainant, the Ombudsman and former Minister Frank Fahey can be questioned.”