Election 2019 home

Frances Fitzgerald denies claims McCabe saga is undermining MEP bid

Frances Fitzgerald at the Disclosures Tribunal in January 2018.

Former justice minister Frances Fitzgerald has denied claims the Maurice McCabe saga is undermining her European elections bid, saying the case is not being raised by voters.

At a Fine Gael campaign event two days out from Friday's election, Ms Fitzgerald said the case has already been "dealt with very comprehensively" by the Charleton Tribunal and insisted she "acted appropriately".

Ms Fitzgerald was forced from office in December 2017 amid public and political uproar over her handling of a series of issues surrounding garda whistle-blower Maurice McCabe.

Asked about the situation and whether it is affecting her campaign on Wednesday morning, Ms Fitzgerald paused, before saying: "What I think the view of the public is in relation to that issue is that Judge Charleton dealt with it very comprehensively, after an extremely long time where he heard from everybody and conclusively decided I acted appropriately and that it was in fact in the interests of the country when I resigned.

"And that's why I made that decision."

Asked if voters are raising the case with her during canvasses, the Fine Gael MEP candidate for Dublin claimed they were not.

Not particularly. I find the vast majority of people are saying to me that they're quite unhappy at the way it was handled actually, in terms of really what was in effect the opposition deciding that I had to resign.

"But I did it in the interests of the country because I didn't want to see an election at that time. It [a general election] would not have been in the interests of the country in terms of where the Brexit discussions were at.

"So I have found that there is huge support for me in terms of the way that people behaved. I think there is a lot of lessons for a lot of people to learn from those events, actually."

More on this topic

Call to introduce local election gender quotas

Sinn Féin ard chomhairle meets for 'very honest conversation' after disastrous election performance

Green Party spearheads five-year deal to move Dublin towards 'zero-carbon' status

Opposition to have a say in when Dáil by-elections held