Latest: Judicial Appointments Bill 'in a difficult place', admits Minister

Latest: Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has today admitted that the Judicial Appointments Bill is "in a difficult place".

Latest: Judicial Appointments Bill 'in a difficult place', admits Minister

Update 12.00pm: Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has today admitted that the Judicial Appointments Bill is "in a difficult place".

He was speaking after the Attorney General Seamus Woulfe referred to the Judicial Appointments Bill as a “dog’s dinner” at a recent event.

The government says it is still committed to the Bill, meaning that it now finds itself on the opposing side to its legal advisor.

Minister Charlie Flanagan told Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1 that while he wouldn't have used the "colourful language" that the Attorney General used to describe the Bill, he said he does agree that the number of amendments added during committee stage means there are now constitutional issues with the legislation.

The Minister said he that doesn't accept that the Bill now needs to be scrapped or redrafted, however. He said the difficulties with it can be resolved but it cannot be done without "due and careful consideration".

"Too many cooks have somewhat spoiled the broth here," he said.

Earlier: Social Democrats call on Attorney General to step down after 'dog's dinner' comments

The Social Democrats have called on the Attorney General to step down after comments made at a recent event hosted by the Association of European Journalists in Dublin.

Seamus Woulfe believed that he was not going to be quoted when he spoke about several issues at the event.

He referred to the Judicial Appointments Bill as a “dog’s dinner” cooked up by Shane Ross.

He also predicted former Rehab boss Angela Kerins would lose her "free speech" case in the Supreme Court.

"I think it's a red card matter," said Social Democrats co-leader Roisin Shortall.

"Obviously he's appointed by the Taoiseach, I think the Taoiseach needs to make a statement on this - does he think it was acceptable?

"I think he was entirely inappropriate to act in this way, I think he every much overstepped the mark.

She added: "He shouldn't have been interfering in... the Oireachtas, or commenting on the Supreme Court case."

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty, however, said that the opposition calling for heads to roll has to stop.

She observed: "I get the privilege of working with Seamus Woulfe on a weekly basis, sometimes on a daily basis. He's an incredible help in an advisory capacity.

"I think he probably shouldn't have had a comment on an ongoing case... [But] politicians are only a reflection of the people we serve. We're human beings. We make mistakes."

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.