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Government using 'spin and obfuscation' to delay whistleblower apology - Martin

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says the Government is purposely trying to introduce confusion.

Fine Gael Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan at the publication of the Smithwick tribunal last year.
Fine Gael Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan at the publication of the Smithwick tribunal last year.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

FIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin wants Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to order the publication of a garda report into the penalty points controversy.

Martin said this morning that ‘spin and obfuscation is being created’  by the Government and said that the the Garda Inspectorate Report would help bring clarity to the situation.

The Fianna Fáil leader says that the Government’s approach has been about trying to delay a full apology by Minister Shatter to Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

The Government is working hard to introduce confusion where it can, but one element is absolutely clear Alan Shatter misled Dáil Éireann and did an injustice to Sgt Maurice McCabe when he claimed that he had not co-operated with the internal Garda inquiry into penalty points irregularities.

“It is our belief that the Minister has access to a report which can immediately settle the issue, the Garda Inspectorate Report prepared following his referral of the issue to the Inspectorate at that time,” he added.

Sinn Féin’s Padraig MacLochlainn has also said that Minister Alan Shatter attempted to protect the gardaí rather than looking for the truth of a number of allegations made against the force.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, the chairman of the Oireachtas Oversight Committee said that the problem lies with the relationship between the minister and garda hierarchy:

All three episodes demonstrate clearly, certainly our party’s view, that there is an unhealthily close relationship between the minister and the garda commissioner. That has meant that on each one of those occasions the minister has essentially circled the wagons rather than sought to get to the truth of what was happening.

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MacLochlainn was referring to allegations that have been against about garda misconduct and mismanagement of number of issue including penalty points and investigations.

An independent review by Judge John Cooke is to take place into potential surveillance at the offices of the Garda Services Ombudsman Commission but MacLochalinn as said this morning that this response was “deeply disappointing”.

MacLochalinn said that the the Commission for Investigation Act was “almost fit for purpose” and should be used instead of the inquiry as it would have the power to compel witnesses and documentation.

Read: Minister Alex White wants Shatter to correct Dáil comments on whistleblower >

Read: I will deal with ‘extremely serious allegations of garda misconduct’ – Taoiseach >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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