Greens: Whelan appointment process must start again in an open and transparent manner

16th June 2017



“It beggars belief that Shane Ross would agree to this” – Eamon Ryan

The Green Party said today that the process that saw outgoing Attorney General Máire Whelan nominated to the Court of Appeals brings the political and judicial system into disrepute, and must be restarted in a fair and transparent manner.

Speaking today, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said: “The process to fill the vacancy in the Court of Appeal must start again. The appointment must be made in a fair, open and transparent manner. The process by which Máire Whelan was appointed was none of these things, and is flawed in a number of ways.

“There are serious questions for the Government to answer over this appointment. Cabinet members clearly had no prior knowledge an appointment was about to be made to the Court of Appeals before the last cabinet meeting of Enda Kenny’s government. Their deliberations must have been constrained by the fact that Máire Whelan was in the room for the discussion.

“The Government must explain why no other candidates were considered for this position.

“The new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also has questions to answer here. During his meeting with the Independent Alliance prior to his appointment as Taoiseach, judicial appointments were a key issue on the Independent Alliance agenda, and a foundation of their support for this minority Government.

“When did then-Minister Varadkar know this appointment was to be made, and did he inform his independent colleagues? It beggars belief that Shane Ross, whose big issue is judicial appointments and putting an end to cronyism, agreed to this process, the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades.”