Speaking after an Ard Comhairle / National Executive meeting Workers
Party research officer Padraig Mannion said it was with reluctance that this decision was reached.
“The Workers Party” he said “does not oppose the
concept of an Oireachtas Inquiry. We are in favour of any system that allows the citizen to have as much information as is
possible and we want to eliminate the hiding places for corruption, double-dealing, and the cosy-cartel of business and political
cronyism that has brought this country to ruin. Sadly the proposed constitutional amendment does not advance that aim”.
“The Oireachtas has, since it foundation, shown itself to
be politically biased and partisan in its decisions, and self-serving in its rules and procedures. Does anyone honestly believe
that an Oireachtas Inquiry, dominated by Fianna Fail as the majority party of the day, would have unearthed the truth about
the financial affairs of Haughey, Burke, Lawlor or Ahern? Could we expect the truth about planning corruption to be exposed
by political parties who were complicit in, and beneficiaries of, that self-same corruption?”
“The Workers Party also believes that the final section of
the proposed amendment (15.10.4) is so widely drafted as to be open to serious abuse and to therefore infringe on the most
basic rights of fair procedure. This section allows for the Houses of the Oireachtas to “to determine, with due
regard to the principles of fair procedures, the appropriate balance between the rights of persons and the public interest...”.
In plain language this allows the Oireachtas to call a witness, to determine what they must answer, and also determine whether
or not they can have legal or financial support during the inquiry. Even more seriously, this section allows the Oireachtas
to make an individual, individuals, or organisation the subject of an inquiry; allows the Oireachtas to set the terms and
scope of the inquiry; and then to decide what rights the subject of the inquiry will have during the entire process.”
“We believe” concluded Mr Mannion “that in
the interests of democracy this amendment must be defeated at this time. It is deliberately rushed. It is flawed. It has not
been subject to public scrutiny or debate. If it is defeated now it will allow a proper and informed debate and allow a properly
worded, and democratically-proofed amendment to be brought forward in the future, perhaps in conjunction with the long promised
amendment on the rights of children”.