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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 29 January, 2020
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Former minister reportedly investigated over child sex abuse claims

Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in Irish politics right now…

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Everyone’s talking about…

The Irish Independent is reporting that a former government minister is being investigated by An Garda Síochána over allegations he sexually abused children in the 1990s.

11/11/2014.Reflection Government Buildings. Pictur Government Buildings Source: RollingNews.ie

According to the paper, a number of alleged victims – both male and female – have claimed they were abused by the politician at a location in Dublin and on separate occasions in the midlands.

RTÉ is reporting that the alleged abuse could date back to the 1980s. The broadcaster notes that a woman alleges the former minister abused her while in a previous occupation, and the other allegations are of a similar nature.

The Independent reports that the Garda National Protection Services Bureau is leading the investigation, but the former politician has not yet been interviewed.

The paper says the alleged sexual abuse is “not at the higher level of scale”. It also reports that one of the complainants said he went to a Dublin Garda station about the same man over a decade ago.

A spokesperson from the Garda Press Office told TheJournal.ie: “It’s not the policy of An Garda Síochána to comment on individual investigations.”

The agenda

  • Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe will answer questions in the Dáil at 9.30am.
  • Leaders’ Questions will take place at noon. Will the IBRC investigation dominate proceedings yet again?
  • The social protection committee will discuss the Social Welfare Bill 2015 at 1pm.
  • A public sector standards bill will be debated by the finance and public expenditure committee at 2pm.
  • Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan will discuss policing matters with the justice committee at 2pm.
  • Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald will attend a meeting of EU and African leaders to discuss the migrant and refugee crisis.
  • A Fianna Fáil motion on prolonged waiting times in emergency departments will be debated at 7.30pm.

Inside Leinster House

The Taoiseach is coming under fire over the inquiry into the sale of certain loans by IBRC yet again. During Leaders’ Questions yesterday, Enda Kenny denied the investigation was on the verge of collapse.

enda-72-390x285 Source: Oireachtas.ie

Last week, Judge Brian Cregan informed Kenny he could not proceed with his probe because of issues surrounding confidentiality and legal privilege.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said that Cregan had requested the cabinet delay any decision on how to proceed until he submits his interim report, which Kenny hopes will be delivered some time next week.

What the others are saying

  • As outlined above, the Irish Independent is leading with claims a former minister is being investigated by gardaí over allegations he sexually abused children.
  • The same paper notes that a Fianna Fáil election candidate squared off with Wexford TD Mick Wallace on a taping of the Vincent Browne show over the latter’s tax dealings. According to the paper, Wallace threatened legal action unless the segment was pulled from the programme, which is due to air on TV3 tonight.
  • The Irish Times notes that the judge heading the IBRC loans investigation has warned that it could take “several years” to complete, even if he receives extra legal powers.

In case you missed it

Good day for…

Heather Humphreys: The Arts Minister paid a visit to the site of a planned new 1916 commemorative centre on Moore Street in Dublin. After initial uncertainty about the project, Humphreys said it is hoped it will be completed at some stage next year.

Bad day for…

Leo Varadkar: Fianna Fáil criticised the Health Minister for observing the health service “from a distance” rather than taking action. Varadkar didn’t take the criticism lying down, saying Fianna Fáil’s policy of pumping money into the HSE does not necessarily translate into service improvements.

On the Twitter machine

Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer was looking for someone, but it all worked out okay.

Comments on this article are closed due to an ongoing Garda investigation.

Originally published: 9am

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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