Senator Landy complaint rejected by Clerk of the Seanad

I received a letter today from the Clerk of the Seanad rejecting my complaint regarding an alleged attempt to bribe Senator Denis Landy (See letter below).

As I wrote previously, it’s a catch 22 situation. If a complaint is not specifically made against a member of the Dail or Senate the State will not act.

In other words, corruption and all other kinds of skullduggery can take place within the confines of our parliament without any response from the State, unless a ‘member’ can be indentified as being involved.

Oh wait, that actually has been the reality for many decades now.

I will now submit a complaint against Senator Denis Landy.

Copy to:
Clerk of the Seanad
Senator Landy
All political parties

Letter from Clerk of the Seanad.

Dear Mr. Sheridan,

I refer to your our previous correspondence and your letter of 8 August 2013.

As you are aware there is a statutory complaints procedure available to members of the public under the Ethics in Public Office Acts 1995 and 2001 (“the Ethics Acts”).

Section 8 (2) states “a person…who considers that a member…may have contravened sections 5 or 7 or done a specified act may make a complaint…to the Clerk…” (emphasis added)(by the Clerk of the Seanad).

Thus, as can be seen from s.8 (2) it is a fundamental requirement of the Act that a complaint is made against a member (which is defined in the Acts as a member of Dail or Seanad Eireann).

The member, who should be named or otherwise identified, must be alleged to have contravened s.5 or s.7 or have done a specified act. While you name Senator Landy in your correspondence, it is still not clear that you seek to make a complaint in line with the Ethics Acts. about him or indeed any other Senator.

In the absence of a complaint which meets the requirements of the legislation, including that the complaint should be against a member, I cannot deal with your complaint under the Ethics Acts.

Therefore no further action will be taken by my Office unless a complaint which meets the requirements of the Acts is submitted.

If at any point you do wish to make a complaint in accordance with the Ethics Acts about a Senator, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,
Clerk of the Seanad