The sole member of the Morris Tribunal has criticized Mr. Jim Higgins MEP and Mr. Brendan Howlin TD for contacting the Minister for Justice with information relating to, inter alia, wrongdoing by members of the Garda Siochana in Donegal.
As part of their reply, in rejecting the criticism, they refer to the absolute privilege they were entitled to if they had chosen to make their disclosures in the Dail. They make the point they did not avail of this (on the basis that it might have been an abuse of the privilege).
What they do not say is that in communicating with the Minister for Justice their communication was also privileged. The privilege would not have been absolute; it would have been and was, a communication attracting qualified privilege.
Only malice could have deprived them of the benefit of the privilege. No malice has been alleged against them.
Communications on occasions of qualified privilege have been protected in law for a very long time.
The sole member of the Morris Tribunal cannot have meant to disparage that privilege and if so, it is difficult to understand his criticism of the two politicians.