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Mary Lou says Taoiseach held secret meeting with Shatter... but government says he didn't

The Taoiseach’s office says a ‘clerical error’ is to blame for the diary entry that recorded a meeting taking place 36 hours before it actually did.

Updated 22.44

SINN FÉIN TD Mary Lou McDonald has accused Enda Kenny and Alan Shatter of holding a meeting and not disclosing it just two days before the former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan resigned.

She said that the Taoiseach has gone on record as saying the first time he heard about the recordings at garda stations was on Sunday evening, 23 March when he met with the Attorney General.

However the Sinn Féin TD said that the Taoiseach’s diary shows he had a meeting on that Sunday morning, at 7:30am, with the Minister for Justice and officials.

But this afternoon, the Taoiseach’s spokesman has told TheJournal.ie that Enda Kenny did NOT meet with Shatter on the Sunday before Martin Callinan resigned.

He said the meeting took place on Monday, 24 March and that a “clerical error” is to blame for the meeting being placed in the diary at 7.30am on Sunday.

Here is the diary entry in question:

Taoiseach s diary Pg 1-page-001 Source: FOI/Sinn Féin

The spokesperson said the diary entry should have said 7.30pm on Monday – a meeting that is already public knowledge.

Responding to the government clarification, McDonald told RTÉ’s News at One that the Taoiseach himself, and not his officials, needs to clarify what happened.

“I want to hear that from the Taoiseach,” she said saying events have been surrounded in “uncertainty”.

This lunchtime, Kenny himself has confirmed that he did not meet with Shatter on Sunday and wasn’t in Dublin until 4pm that day.

He held at a meeting with the AG at around 6pm where it was revealed that calls in and out of garda stations had been recorded for decades.

Leaders’ Questions

The Sinn Féin TD got the diary records through a freedom of information request.

Earlier, McDonald brought up the issue in the Dáil and asked Eamon Gilmore if he knew about the meeting or who was there.

“What was discussed at the meeting, were the telephone conversations discussed and was the fate of Martin Callinan discussed?”

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore replied that he does not know the diary of the Taoiseach and that she should ask him.

Mary Lou McDonald said: “You clearly have no knowledge of this which is worrying for you.”

Again she asked the Tanaiste, “Why was this meeting scheduled so early on a Sunday morning and who was at it?” She also asked why the meeting wasn’t listed:

How is it that this meeting has been edited out of his script?

Gilmore said: “The whole issue of taping of conversations at Garda Station is under investigation.”

“I can’t tell you the diary of the Taoiseach no more than you can give the details of your party leader.

The person to put those questions to is the person you have questions about.
- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell

Read:  Dáil hears that Martin Callinan was Shatter’s ‘scapegoat’

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