Updated at 10.04am
A FIANNA FÁIL TD says that a female garda who was pursuing a claim of sexual harassment within the force was warned off from doing so by the Garda Confidential Recipient, Oliver Connolly.
John McGuinness, who also chairs the Public Accounts Committee, raised the issue with Justice Minister Alan Shatter in the Dáil last night.
McGuinness said that Connolly — who was fired from his position earlier this month — told the garda…
“…the last man who used the service was now washing cars in Navan.”
According to McGuinness:
“The garda then went on to ask the confidential recipient to process the complaint, questioned the fact that nothing was happening and then asked for an update on the position.
“I would like to ask the confidential recipient whether he said to her that it had gone too high to cover it up and that it had to be investigated.
“He then suggested to her not to forget his proximity to the Minister and not to think that he had not had a word in his ear. I am simply repeating to the Minister what the garda has said.”
Shatter relied across the chamber: “I have no idea what he means”.
McGuinness said that Connolly should not have been sacked and that “he should have been asked to account for those comments”.
“I do not know whether he made those comments to the Minister but I believe the person told me that in truth and I believe that the Minister should investigate it.”
He said that Connolly had “suggested to this person that she should play the political game and that then she might get preferential treatment elsewhere”.
“Will the Minister ask the confidential recipient whether that is true or false?”
Speaking in the Dáil this morning, Shatter said he hadn’t previously heard of the claims made by McGuinness.
“My only knowledge is what was said in the house yesterday and what Deputy McGuinness said on radio this morning,” Shatter said.
“I don’t have any knowledge of the matter. I don’t have knowledge of conversations between gardaí and the confidential recipient.
“The very essence of the role is that the conversations take place in confidence.”
Shatter yesterday gave the Dáil a lengthy and detailed statement in which, for the first time, he addressed a series of allegations made against him and the gardaí in recent days.
The government announced earlier this week that a barrister will examine claims being made by garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe, with a view to seeing if there is a need for a full Commission of Inquiry.
The Justice Minister sacked Connolly from his position as Confidential Recipient last week over comments he is alleged to have made to McCabe.
First posted at 8.47am