Counsel for the former CEO of Rehab has told the High Court that the Public Accounts Committee engaged in illegal questioning of Angela Kerins.
The Court also heard that PAC was so powerful that the board of Rehab had ‘rolled over’ and fallen in step with the Committee’s position when it next appeared before it.
Angela Kerins is seeking damages for distress and injuries caused by PAC’s questioning of her, the stress of which she claims led her to attempt suicide.
Angela Kerins appeared before the Public Accounts Committee on February 27th 2014 for a seven hour session during which she faced questioning on her salary, her pension and the governance of Rehab Group.
Yesterday, the High Court heard claims by Ms Kerins that the stress caused by that hearing caused her to attempt suicide.
This morning, Senior Counsel for Ms Kerins said that committee member Deputy Aine Collins seemed to raise a question about the transparency of the charity and in effect the legality of its operations.
John Rogers said this raised serious questions about Constitutional rights for his client.
He told the High Court that the PAC made no attempt to abide by the terms of a letter sent to Ms Kerins the week before she appeared before the Committee setting out its reasons for questioning.
Senior board members of Rehab group attended the second hearing of PAC into the organisation on April 10th, six days after Ms Kerins resigned as CEO of Rehab.
On that date, Chairman of the board Mr Brian Kerr said the brand of Rehab had been seriously damaged.
Mr Rogers said this showed that the board had ‘rolled over’ and fallen in step with PACs view of the charity.
The court also heard that the Comptroller and Auditor General told PAC that a body did not automatically fall under the committee’s remit by dent of it receiving over 50 percent of its funding from the state.
Angela Kerins claims the line of questioning adopted by the PAC members was unlawful and is seeking damages for the distress and injuries caused.