Angela Kerins, the former chief executive of the Rehab Group, is seeking damages for personal injury and damage to her reputation she claims she suffered arising out of an alleged unlawful examination by the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee.
Ms Kerins has claimed she lost her job and that her health suffered as a direct consequence of her questioning by the PAC in relation to State funding of the Rehab Group on February 27.
Ms Kerins launched High Court proceedings yesterday, claiming the PAC conducted itself unlawfully, has shown bias towards her, acted outside its remit, and committed a malfeasance in public office.
Her counsel, John Rogers, said Ms Kerins was questioned by members of the PAC in a manner that suggested they were “engaged in a witch hunt”.
Meanwhile, former Rehab chief Frank Flannery has said he is considering taking legal action against PAC over its investigation into his activities with the charity.
His comments came despite calls by Tánaiste Joan Burton yesterday for the former charity chief to voluntarily appear before PAC.
Reacting to Ms Kerins’ move, former Rehab director Frank Flannery said: “I’m not surprised. It’s an absolutely logical follow-up for her to do, following on from everything that happened to her, and then secondly the CPP’s clear decisive decision.
“She and her legal team have decided to go to the High Court which is the ultimate guardian of the constitution, guardian of the rights of citizens, and have the decision out there and seek relief there.
“With regards to myself, I haven’t made that decision yet, but I’m holding my options open... I’m of the view that the House itself should do its own policing and look after its own affairs.”
Ms Kerins, of Temple Hill, Blackrock, Dublin, came before the PAC during its examination of State funding to the Rehab Group. She had worked for Rehab since 1992 and was chief executive from 2006 until April.
Mr Rogers said the purpose of the action “was not to shut down” the PAC’s examination of funding to Rehab but to prevent it from continuing to pursue matters in relation to Ms Kerins’ tenure with Rehab. She has brought the action to vindicate her rights against what she claims is an unlawful attack against her good name.
Ms Kerins seeks orders from the court, including one restraining the PAC from further pursuing the examination of Rehab’s accounts in so far as they relate to Ms Kerins’ employment.
The action is against the members of the PAC, , the clerk of the Dáil, the clerk of the PAC, Ireland, and the attorney general.
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