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McDowell blasts Ross over Whelan'hissy fit' Minister accused of court job U-turn.

Byline: JOHN PATRICK KIERANS

TRANSPORT Minister Shane Ross has been accused of applauding the controversial Cabinet appointment of a judge before criticising it.

Ex-Justice Minister Michael McDowell claimed Mr Ross clapped at the meeting when Attorney General Maire Whelan's new role at the Court of Appeal was rubber-stamped before throwing a "hissy fit" and trying to block it.

Speaking on Today with Sean O'Rourke yesterday, he said: "I presume that the Taoiseach of the day would consult with Mr Ross as to his intention.

"If he had any difficulty, I presume, he would have told the Taoiseach about it.

"From what I heard, there was a unanimous decision that the previous Attorney General should be appointed and there was a round of applause from the Cabinet table, including Shane Ross, for this decision.

"So I don't think you're dealing with a major defect in procedure. And after applauding for her appointment, according to sources close to him, he then threw a hissy fit and tried to delay her appointment. There must of been some sort of inter-party agreement."

Mr McDowell, who also previously served as Attorney General, made the comments following Mr Ross' slating of the "rotten" judicial appointment system.

He said: "The Independent Alliance made it absolutely clear all along that we don't like the process of appointments. It's no coincidence, I suppose, for many years every time a judge has been appointed there's been some sort of political row. That's what we want to end."

Independent Senator McDowell also slammed Mr Ross' claim that senior judge appointments are based on cronyism.

And he blamed the Transport Minister for the Judiciary Bill being rushed through the Dail too quickly.

He added: "Is this a man with an agenda? He most certainly is... And he has them [the Cabinet] over a barrel.

"He's threatened on a number of occasions to walk out, or to pull down the Government unless they give in to him on this."

Mr Ross' department told the Irish Mirror the minister was not available for comment yesterday.

news@irishmirror.ie CLAIMS Shane Ross

There was applause from Mr Ross...but sources said he threw a fit to delay her appointment MICHAEL MCDOWELL today with sean o'rourke rte radio

CAPTION(S):

HITTING OUT Mr McDowell

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2017
Words:378
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