14 December 2005

Connolly could sue over remarks: Ahern

RTE

14 December 2005 16:59

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has said that Frank Connolly could sue if he feels wronged by the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell.

Mr Ahern was responding to questions in the Dáil this morning.

He said that if somebody felt maligned by what had been said inside or outside the Dáil they could use the courts to vindicate their good name.

Yesterday Mr McDowell defended his comments in the Dáil last Tuesday in which he alleged that Mr Connolly, executive director of the Centre for Public Inquiry, had travelled to Colombia on a false passport when he was a journalist in 2001.

Mr Connolly has denied the claims. The Opposition has accused Mr McDowell of abusing his position and have called on him to resign.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties this afternoon called on the Taoiseach to instigate a thorough and independent inquiry into the actions of Minister McDowell.

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