Minister defends Attorney General amid opposition criticism over 'inappropriate' comments

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall described Seamus Woulfe's remarks as a "red card matter"

Minister defends Attorney General amid opposition criticism over 'inappropriate' comments

Seamus Woulfe. Photo: Sam Boal/

The Social Protection Minister has defended the Attorney General after he commented on a number of legal issues at an 'off the record' lunch for journalists.

Seamus Woulfe criticised the Judicial Appointments Bill and called it a 'dog's dinner'.

He also predicted that former Rehab boss Angela Kerins would lose her case against the Dáil's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in the Supreme Court.

Mr Woulfe has come under fire from a number of opposition politicians following the comments, including the Social Democrats' Róisín Shortall.

She described the comments as a "red card matter".

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Deputy Shortall argued: "I think he was entirely inappropriate to act in this way. I think he very much overstepped the mark.

"He shouldn't have been interfering in the Oireachtas, or commenting on what he believed was the likely outcome of the Supreme Court case. I think the Taoiseach should address this matter."

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty, however, says the opposition calling for heads to roll has to stop.

She observed: "I get the privilege of working with Seamus Woulfe on a weekly basis, sometimes on a daily basis. He's an incredible help in an advisory capacity.

"I think he probably shouldn't have had a comment on an ongoing case... [But] politicians are only a reflection of the people we serve. We're human beings. We make mistakes."