Taoiseach Enda Kenny has corrected the Dail record today in relation to the resignation of former Justice Minister Alan Shatter in 2014 writes Daniel McConnell, Political Editor.
Opening the debate on the O’Higgins Commission report, Mr Kenny confirmed to the Dail that he had agreed to a request from Mr Shatter to correct the Dáil record on the Garda controversies which led to Mr Shatter’s departure.
The debate was on the report into allegations by whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe of malpractice in the Cavan-Monaghan Garda division.
Transcripts from the Commission published in the Irish Examiner in recent weeks had led to much controversy over the alleged treatment of Sgt McCabe by legal counsel acting for the Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.
Mr Kenny said Mr Shatter had resigned as Minister following the Guerin report on the allegations, which was a scoping report preceding the O’Higgins Commission.
“In response to a request from the former minister, I would also like to take the opportunity to correct the Dáil record of May 7th, 2014,” the Taoiseach said.
“I am happy to state, on the record, that the former minister in resigning did not in fact accept responsibility for criticism made in the Guerin report of the adequacy of the department and the minister for justice and equality in responding to allegations made by Sgt McCabe.
“The former Minister set out his reasons clearly in his letter of his resignation. I am very pleased to acknowledge that the O’Higgins report has found clearly he acted properly at all times in relation to the handling of allegations made by Maurice McCabe,” the Taoiseach said.
Mr Kenny added that Mr Shatter had raised a number of serious issues regarding the Guerin report, which is the subject of ongoing litigation in the High Court.
For that reason, Mr Kenny said it was no possible for him to respond to those points until that process was completed.
“The Government will respond when that litigation is resolved, taking account of the relevant court judgements,’’ he added.
In the same debate, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the O’Higgins report largely confirmed the allegations raised by Sgt McCabe.
Mr Martin said he welcomed the report, but stated that it was Enda Kenny who made it clear to Alan Shatter that he had to resign, not the Guerin report.
Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said the gratitude of the public, the Dáil and of all within An Garda Siochana is owed to Sgt McCabe.
She also said the report cleared former Minister Shatter and his officials of any wrongdoing in how they treated Sgt McCabe’s allegations.