herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Mary Lou to escape a formal reprimand

Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald is to escape being formally sanctioned after she was found to have abused her Dail privilege, the Herald understands.

Ms McDonald was found to have uttered near defamatory comments when she named former politicians as allegedly having off-shore bank accounts for the purpose of tax evasion.

While a report into her controversial speech on December 3 last is to be presented to the Dail, it is not expected to result in her being suspended from the chamber.

It is more likely that Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett may use powers granted to him under standing orders to "reprimand" her in her seat when the Dail next convenes on Wednesday.

The lack of desire to see her suspended is driven by a belief by many across the political spectrum that Ms McDonald (inset) and Sinn Fein would seek to use such a suspension to their advantage.

"There most certainly is a desire not to make a martyr out of her," said one member of the Dail Oversight Committee on Procedure and Privilege (CPP) which produced the report.

hnews@herald.ie

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