A spokesperson for the Tánaiste has said that she was very surprised at yesterday's court judgement on Mr Haughey's Circuit Criminal Court case. He said that Ms Harney had been studying it with colleagues, as it had far-reaching implications for the successful prosecution of high-profile individuals and for the freedom of speech. In the Dáil today, there were unsuccessful attempts to discuss the implications of the judgement. The Labour party leader, Ruairí Quinn and Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party both attempted to have the Dáil adjourned to discuss the ruling and its political implications. However, the Taoiseach said that it was a matter for the DPP.
The Labour leader earlier called on the Tánaiste to resign following yesterday's court ruling in which Mary Harney's remarks about Mr Haughey were cited. Speaking to RTÉ News, Ruairí Quinn said that, after the debacle of the last 30 days, he believed that the government itself should also step down and go to the country. When pressed about his call on Mary Harney to resign, he rejected the notion that he was playing politics. He said that, given her remarks, she should resign. He said it was not a question of demotion. He said that she was a party leader and she could not demote herself and the honourable thing would be to step down.
A spokesperson for the Tánaiste said earlier that the proposition put forward by the leader of Fine Gael, that she consider demotion, does not arise. On Morning Ireland, John Bruton accused the Tánaiste of failing to be politically accountable for her role in the postponement of the Haughey trial. He said that, if a junior minister had made the same comments, he or she would be forced to resign. Earlier, the Tánaiste, who returned from Warsaw, slipped into the Cabinet meeting through the Department of Agriculture, thus avoiding journalists who were waiting to interview her. A spokesperson for the Tánaiste had told a number of media outlets that she would talk to them before going into the Cabinet meeting.
In his court ruling yesterday, Judge Kevin Haugh, cited recent comments by Mary Harney and said that there was a real and substantial risk of Mr Haughey not receiving a fair trial at present. He said that Ms Harney had created a risk of further damage to Mr Haughey's character.