Angela Kerins claims "witchhunt" PAC hearing was an "apparent vendetta"

Former Rehab boss is accusing the PAC of acting outside its powers

Angela Kerins, Public Accounts Committee, Rehab, legal action, salary, pension, High Court

Angela Kerins arrives at Leinster House in 2014 to appear before the Public Accounts Committee | Image: RollingNews.ie

Angela Kerins described the hearing she attended at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in 2014 as a "witchhunt" and an "apparent vendetta."

In her action for damages, the former CEO of the Rehab Group also claims she overdosed on pills because she thought her death would be the only resolution.

On February 27th 2014, Ms Kerins sat through a seven-hour meeting of the PAC.

She was invited to answer questions about her management of the charity in the midst of growing controversy over its salary and pension bill.

Health Minister Simon Harris, Transport Minister Shane Ross and deputy Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald are among the 17 named defendants in her legal action.

She claims the members acted outside their powers by grilling her on what she described as "wholly private matters" - including her €240,000 salary.

She said she felt powerless in the face of an apparent vendetta, and claims her health deteriorated as a direct result of the hearing.

She was hospitalised on two occasions in the weeks that followed and the court heard she had convinced herself that the only way to resolve the controversy was to die by suicide.

She was found unconscious at her home 15 days after the hearing after taking a large quantity of pills and alcohol.

She claims the committee's line of questioning was unlawful and is seeking damages for the distress and injuries caused.

A special three-judge panel, presided over by High Court president Mr Justice Peter Kelly, has been convened to hear her action.

Anyone affected by aspects of this article can call The Samaritans on 116 123 or e-mail jo@samaritans.org

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