Niall Blaney calls into question Ombudsman’s independence

Donegal Deputy Niall Blaney has called into question the independence of the Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly and her report into the lost at sea scheme.

The Byrne Family, from Donegal, lost a father and son when their boat sank in 1981 - three other crewmen also perished.

The Ombudsman found they were wrongly excluded from the scheme and should be compensated with 245,000 euro.

But as well as questioning the Ombudsman's independence, Deputy Blaney blamed Jim Higgins MEP, for misleading the Byrne Family:
[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/04blan.mp3[/podcast]

Minister of State Tony Killeen also argued the case for the government and why the recommendations if the Ombudsman would not be followed.

He says compensating the Byrne Family could lead to further claims:
[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/04KILLpm.mp3[/podcast]

Donegal Deputy Dinny McGinley also spoke in the Dail.

He accused the government of trying to bury the issue, but said that would not be allowed happen as the truth about the 'lost at sea' scheme must come out:
[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/04DINmp3.mp3[/podcast]