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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 13 December, 2019

'Nothing to say this morning': Leo Varadkar stops talking about gardagate

For now.


IN AN UNCHARACTERISTIC move this morning, Leo Varadkar dodged questions as he arrived to Leinster House for the weekly Cabinet meeting.

The Transport Minister has been noticeably vocal on the ongoing controversies about garda station recordings and the treatment of whistleblowers John Wilson and Sergeant Maurice McCabe over the past fortnight.

Earlier, however, he told‘s Nicky Ryan and other reporters that he had “nothing to say this morning lads”.

“Have a good one.”

Varadkar reignited the fire under his colleague Alan Shatter on 20 March by stating that Martin Callinan should withdraw comments made in January that the actions of two garda whisteblowers were “disgusting”.

That kicked off a chain of events that eventually led to Shatter correcting the Dáil record about remarks he made – as well as issuing an apology to the two men.

Varadkar and Shatter were said to have had a productive one-to-one meeting and the Taoiseach noted that issues had been resolved.

Then yesterday, Varadkar gave an impromptu doorstep to reporters about the illegal telephone recording at garda stations.

He said he is concerned about why the former Commissioner waited over four months to inform the government about the issue.

I really think the opposition have got it all wrong. Instead of focusing on the real issues as to why the gardaí didn’t inform the Government early, about why they allegedly tried t0 destroy the tapes, they’re just trying to get political capital by attacking Alan Shatter and I think that’s old politics and it really misses the point.

Tonight, Fianna Fáil will table its motion of no confidence in Shatter – a matter that will be debated for 90 minutes this evening and again tomorrow night.

Reporting by Nicky Ryan

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