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Nora Owen: If I was Shatter, I would be angry I didn't get Callinan's letter

The former Justice Minister noted that it was addressed directly to Shatter, and not officials in his Department.

Nora Owen
Nora Owen
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

A FORMER JUSTICE minister has said that the Taoiseach has questions to answer over why he waited almost 24 hours to inform the former Garda Commission of an impending inquiry into the recording of phone calls at garda stations.

“It’s a question that Enda must answer”, Nora Owen told Today with Sean O’Rourke, adding that questions must be asked as to whether he was making “inquiries behind the scenes” about the issue.

She reiterated what she told TheJournal.ie earlier this week that she did not know about the practice of recording phone calls.


She added that current Minister for Justice Alan Shatter should be “angry” he didn’t receive the now infamous letter from the former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan immediately.

It was revealed that a letter outlining details about garda recordings was sent to the Department of Justice on 10 March but was not seen by the Minister for another 15 days.

“If I was Alan shatter I would be very angry about that,” Owen said.

She said there is “a big question mark” over the issue.


Owen reference how she herself had an issue with a letter sent to her Department while office regarding a judge asking to be removed from the Special Criminal Court.

However, she said this was lodged into a system before getting to her, and had not been marked for her attention.

“In this instance, this was a direct letter request,” she said, in reference to Callinan’s letter.

Owen urged the justice system to take action to ensure that any legal issues arising from the taping of phone calls at garda stations does not cause backlogs.

Read: Noonan ‘assumes’ officials didn’t think they were under pressure to inform Shatter of Callinan letter >

Catch up: Everything you need to know about GardaGate in one place >

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