Dáil committee to investigate Brid Smith's comment on judge

Solidarity-People Before Profit's Brid Smith
By Joel Slattery

A Dáil committee is to investigate social media comments made by a People Before Profit TD last month after receiving a complaint from the then Minister for Justice.

In a Facebook post on June 24, Brid Smith claimed High Court judge Garrett Simons "put the boot into workers" after a ruling where he found that a sectoral employment order, made by Minister for Business Heather Humphreys, had been made outside her powers and was unconstitutional, thereby striking down a law guaranteeing minimum pay in the sector.

Both then-Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and The Association of Judges of Ireland criticised Ms Smith for the comments at the time.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Garrett Simons found failings by both the Labour Court and the minister for business, enterprise, and innovation in the operation of SEOs.

"On foot of a complaint received from the former Minister for Justice Charles Flanagan TD on 25 June 2020, the Ceann Comhairle Seán O Fearghaíl TD referred remarks made by Deputy Brid Smith about the judiciary to the Committee on Procedure," an Oireachtas statement this evening read.

"At its meeting today the Committee unanimously agreed to investigate the matter further and write to Deputy Smith seeking a written submission from her.

"The Committee will resume its consideration of Deputy Smith’s remarks in the coming weeks."

Ms Smith will be given the opportunity to respond to the committee, it is believed.

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