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Dublin: 20 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020

Taoiseach orders report on ‘confidential recipient and whistleblower conversation’

A transcript of the alleged conversation read out in the Dáil last night stated: ‘If Shatter thinks you’re screwing him, you’re finished’.

Enda Kenny in the Dáil today.
Enda Kenny in the Dáil today.
Image: Screengrab/Oireachtas TV

Updated 10.30pm

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has asked the Department of Justice for a report on an alleged conversation that took place between garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe and his confidential recipient.

The transcript of the alleged conversation was read into the Dáil record last night by Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins.

Here’s what Collins read from the transcript last night:

… if the stuff was to get out into the public, the print media, it must come with what happens in the courtroom. I’ll tell you something, Maurice, and this is just personal advice to you, if Shatter thinks you’re screwing him, you’re finished.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who repeated the same elements of the alleged conversation, said it is a “grave” thing for democracy and asked the Taoiseach to clarify if he thought the position of the confidential recipient within the gardaí was now tenable.

He said the transcript that was read out was truly “shocking”.

The Taoiseach said earlier today that he was concerned about the alleged conversation and stated: “You raised this here in the house yesterday. When I left the chamber, I read the transcript.”

‘Not privy’

Though it was not immediately clear if Kenny was referring to the transcript cited by Martin and Collins or the transcript of last night’s Dáil debate, a spokesperson later confirmed that the Taoiseach was referring to the transcript of the Dáil debate – not the alleged conversation between the whistleblower and his confidential recipient.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter told the Dáil last night he was “not privy” to that transcript.

The Taoiseach said he has asked the Department of Justice for a report on the conversation, with comments from the confidential recipient involved. He said he awaits the report.

Kenny said he had spoken to Shatter in relation to the matter and said that there was no basis of evidence that Shatter had “ever expressed these views” allegedly spoken by the confidential recipient.

He added, on a separate note, that Shatter had been “unhappy” with how the system of the confidential recipient operates and that legislation is under way to make changes.

Kenny stated that he had not spoken to the confidential recipient.

He added that the situation was “very concerning” as the confidential recipient “has to be seen as a person that can be trusted”.

He said “why would someone go to someone if they didn’t believe that it was above board…” and also said that it was important that no member of the gardaí should feel” under threat”.

- additional reporting Hugh O’Connell

First published 1.14pm

Related: Dáil hears alleged conversation: ‘If Shatter thinks you’re screwing him, you’re finished’

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