TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY defended the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter in the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), gardaí and whistleblower controversy stating that it was “time to move on to the bigger picture”.
Speaking on RTE’s Week in Politics programme, Kenny would not be drawn on whether whistleblower Maurice McCabe deserved an apology from Minister Shatter and would not be drawn on the matter when he himself was asked to apologise.
Kenny stated that Shatter in the Dáil said that McCabe was not cooperative with the penalty points investigation after being instructed to do.
Kenny then added Shatter was operating under the context of the information he had received, he said.
The Taoiseach said that Shatter’s “perspective” was that McCabe had not been cooperative, while McCabe believed he had. “They both had their point of views,” he said.
Kenny defended Shatter in relation to the GSOC controversy, stating: ”He was the one person who said the GSOC didn’t work properly.”
He added that Shatter was also the one person who wanted to “change the system” and get rid of confidential recipient as it currently operated.
Kenny said that he fully supported that there should be adequate oversight of the gardaí and that GSOC should be given adequate resources to do so.
He added: “The issue here is the bigger picture – you need a Garda force that has the trust of the people… an enforcement system with oversight which GSOC should have.”
When asked about his speech last night at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis and who he thought was playing politics in the matter, he was critical of Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin stating that he “waved about his documents that he presented to me, which he was right to present to me, on the basis they were proven fact when in fact they were all allegations”.
He said he had thanked Martin for passing on the documents in relation to Garda misconduct but said the bigger issue had to be looked at now, adding that whatever recommendation come out of the inquires into the matter will be be implemented, stating “we can’t go on with controversy”.