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Thursday 14 December 2017

Angela Kerins seeks damages over treatment by PAC 'vultures'

Angela Kerins
Angela Kerins

FORMER Rehab CEO Angela Kerins was assailed by "a pack of parliamentary vultures" when the Dail's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was investigating State funding of the organisation, her lawyer told the High Court.

Ms Kerins also suffered "devastating" injuries as a direct consequence of questioning of her by PAC on February 27, 2014, John Rogers SC said.

Counsel was speaking during an application to Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy for an order of discovery of documents Ms Kerins says she needs in advance of her action against the PAC.

orders

In judicial review proceedings, she seeks a number of declarations and orders, including one restraining the PAC from further pursuing the examination of Rehab's accounts insofar as they relate to her employment with that organisation. She is also seeking damages.

The action is against the members of the PAC, including the chairman, Deputy John McGuinness, the Clerk of Dail Eireann, the Clerk of the PAC, Ireland and the Attorney General.

She claims the PAC has conducted itself unlawfully, showed bias towards her, acted outside its remit, and has committed a malfeasance in public office.

Mr Rogers said in advance of attending the February 27 PAC, Ms Kerins had already made a public statement disclosing her salary and yet was subjected to questioning about it at the meeting.

references

What unfolded at the meeting was "an excoriating examination" by members of PAC in which a number of references were made about Ms Kerins, including her "being stubborn and the like", counsel said.

As a result, she was "injured and degraded and suffered a significant health setback and when I say significant I mean devastatingly significant injuries," counsel said.

She was hospitalised in early March, initially in Waterford and later in the Beacon in Dublin, he said.

Paul Gallagher SC, for the defendants, who deny the claims, opposed the application for discovery of documents saying they were not required for Ms Kerins case.

The case resumes next week.

hnews@herald.ie

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