Ivana Bacik TD
12 February 2017

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik has today called on the members of Government to confirm that they are acting in accordance with the principle of collective responsibility set down in the Constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann. Senator Bacik said:

“Article 28.4.2 of our constitution says: “The Government shall meet and act as a collective authority, and shall be collectively responsible for the Departments of State administered by the members of the Government.”

“This provision affirms a fundamental premise for the operation of Government in Ireland.

“We know that the Commission of Investigation currently in the news is being established following a collective Cabinet decision. In accordance with Article 28.4.2, all Government Ministers are collectively responsible for that decision.

“Yet it seems that neither the Taoiseach nor the Tánaiste sought or obtained information on whether Minister Zappone’s meeting with Maurice McCabe revealed anything which would be relevant to the establishment of the Commission of Investigation in advance of the Cabinet discussion. They need now to confirm that in reaching the decision to establish the Commission, and in deciding upon its terms of reference, they were acting in accordance with the principle of collective responsibility set out in the Constitution.

“Currently, it appears as if Ministers were acting on an individual basis in dealing with this vitally important matter, without sufficient regard for this core principle of collective authority.”


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