Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has welcomed the setting of a date for a hearing of his case against the Government over its failure to hold the Donegal South West by-election. The case has scheduled for listing on 18th October with a view to having the case heard that week subject to the court’s availability.
However Senator Doherty said the Government’s decision to fight the case has delayed the bye-election even further and if they had any sense of decency they would have used the opportunity today to set a date for an election rather than a court case.
Speaking at the High Court today Senator Doherty said:
“While I welcome the setting of a date for listing and hope the case will be heard during the week of October 18th however the Government must be condemned for fighting this case which will delay the bye-election even further.
“If the Government had any sense of decency it would have used the opportunity today to set a date for an election rather than a court case.
“They are attempting to defend the indefensible and the fact that they have come to the high court to defend this is an indictment on their record and a testament of their fear of facing the electorate.
“This is an arrogant excuse for a Government which is more interested in its own fate than it is in the democratic rights of the citizens of this state.
“It has continually failed the people of my constituency and has arrogantly left them under represented for more than a year at a time when a third of the workforce is unemployed, when our general hospital is facing ward closures and when some of our community hospitals are facing full closure.
“This whole episode highlights the urgent need for a reform of the system of dealing with Dáil vacancies as they arise.”