A war of words broke out on the airwaves today when Senator Regina Doherty blasted her former ministerial colleague Shane Ross over his new tell all book which reveals what were until now private discussions from around the cabinet table in the last
Ratoath based Regina declared the book , called ‘In Bed With The Blueshirts’, as “naked attention-seeking” and said “he had no interest in being a minister”.
Ross retaliated by claiming his book didn’t break cabinet confidentiality as “you may as well have an RTÉ camera in the room most of the time as people have been leaking stuff out to their favourite journalists.”
In a verbal volley, Senator Doherty accused Mr Ross of trying to make a “few bob” by doing his “tell-tale” book and reminded him that he went “bananas” when someone leaked info about his ministry.
“I remember a particular cabinet meeting, and I am probably guilty now of dumping info but, I remember Shane Ross going bananas at a cabinet meeting because something had been leaked to do with his ministry. So, what’s good for the goose..” Ms Doherty said.
Shane Ross reminded Ms Doherty of the Fine Gael precedent of divulging cabinet details but admitted he may have gone “into a little more detail”.
“I can understand the anger that has come out as a result of this. What I tried to do was tell a tale as to what happened in the last four years of government and it would be absolutely impossible to tell that tale, without referring to the cabinet in detail and how it made its decisions.
“This isn’t the first time a cabinet minister has written about their time in government and about what went on in cabinet. Gemma Hussey did it and Garrett Fitzgerald did it. Which means there is very good Fine Gael precedent for it.
Mr Ross was reminded that leaking details of cabinet meetings is against the constitution and he admitted he didn’t seek a High Court ruling to reveal such documents as the constitution dictates.
“I don’t expect there will be any prosecutions, either, as the precedent is there for them having done this. I probably produced a little more detail than they did [Hussey and Fitzgerald] but there is a real problem with cabinet confidentiality and that was true when I was there. Everything was leaked, and it is far better that it is told in an orderly way of what happened,” Mr Ross said.
Senator Doherty said she was disappointed with Ross for “undermining one of the most important positions in the land”.
“I think that the indecent haste with which Shane has written this book leaves us with no doubt that he had no interest in being a minister and that he was only there taking notes from a journalistic perspective to provide us with his tell-all book and I think it is unedifying”.