Aontú leader Peadar Tóbín says that the ongoing controversy about Cabinet leaks on foot of the Zappone appointment shows that politicians are not held accountable for wrongdoing, and he said that needed to change.
“We have a consequence-free zone, accountability-free zone in relation to this,” he told RTE’s The Week in Politics. The Meath West TD said that he had been told by the Taoiseach and Tánaiste and Minister for Justice in response to his Parliamentary questions that the Cabinet leaks would not be investigated.
He said that politicians needed to be held to account for wrongdoing – and said that the continued failure to hold people to account meant that the political culture would never change.
Aontú Leader @Toibin1 TD on @rtetwip saying that nothing will change in our political system until the people who leak and break the rules are held to account! | #CabinetLeak #accountability pic.twitter.com/i9ft58dde1
— Aontú (@AontuIE) September 19, 2021
Fine Gael TD Peter Burke said last week that leaking Cabinet information was a “serious criminal offence”.
Last week, Deputy Tóibín told the Dáil that “there is the idea the Zappone affair was predicated on a leak from the Taoiseach’s Cabinet, a leak that, by law, is a criminal offence to undertake. There have been reports in the newspapers that a Minister of State set a trap for a senior Minister, that that information on the senior Minister was given to the Tánaiste and that the Tánaiste was carrying out an investigation into this.”
“Where lies that investigation? Has it evaporated too, like the rain of the summer? Are we ever going to find out whether these people will be held to account? If there are no consequences for any of these leaks, there will never be any change or accountability,” he said.
“No action is a hallmark of the Taoiseach’s office. Even when the Tánaiste was involved in the leaking of a confidential contract to a friend, there were no consequences. How, then, can we expect a Minister in the current Cabinet to actually stop leaking, when there are no consequences for people at this level? Will the Taoiseach guarantee us that there will be a specific date with regard to the publication of the investigation into the leaking of the report into the mother and baby homes?” he said.