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Leaks and Bugs

Minister: 'GSOC should publish report, but members shouldn't resign'

Frances Fitzgerald says she has confidence in the commissioners.

THE MINISTER FOR Justice has insisted she has confidence in members of GSOC.

The remarks come after her predecessor called for their resignation in the Dáil this week because they could not find the source of a leak about alleged bugging of their offices.

Alan Shatter said chairman Simon O’Brien and his fellow commissioners should step down, claiming that they sought to “cover up and keep secret a disturbing level of incompetence and failure to comply with their statutory obligations”.

He was speaking following GSOC’s failure to publish its report from a fact-finding investigation into the leaking of information about a security sweep to the Sunday Times.

The resulting front page kicked off a months-long controversy and, coupled with other scandals, eventually led to Shatter’s resignation from Cabinet.

The latest internal probe failed to identify the source of the leak but Frances Fitzgerald still wants GSOC to make the report public.

“In terms of the work they have to do, it is extremely important,” she told RTÉ News today.

“I want to see them getting on with that work, building relationships with An Garda Síochána and doing the work which they have to do.

It is important that we have a mechanism where complaints are dealt with and people have confidence in GSOC to do that. I do have confidence in GSOC to do that.

An inquiry into the initial bugging claims, chaired by Justice John Cooke, found in June that no surveillance “of the kind asserted in the Sunday Times”  took place at the GSOC offices.

Read: Alan Shatter wants the GSOC Commissioners to be sacked

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