Taoiseach tells party meeting he believes Frances Fitzgerald will be vindicated

By Juno McEnroe

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has told the weekly Fine Gael party meeting in Leinster House that he believes Frances Fitzgerald did nothing wrong and that she will be vindicated.

After a week where the former Tanaiste’s actions brought the country close to a snap general election, Mr Varadkar told his party he hoped Ms Fitzgerald would return to the top level of politics.

His comments come after the former Tanaiste’s resignation this week following days of controversy over her handling of emails citing a garda strategy to discredit whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

Mr Varadkar told the meeting she had done nothing wrong and he thought her name would be “vindicated”.

Party sources said that Ms Fitzgerald in an emotional address described how she had worked in Leinster House as a TD for years and that she was also happy an election had been averted.

It is understood that TDs and senators spoke for over an hour, mainly praising her and also complaining about how he was treated.

Some spoke about people using the Dail as a star chamber. Other suggested she had experienced a "trial by media".

During the long discussions though, Ms Fitzgerald did not apologise or say she regretted what the party had been put through. It is understood that no one member criticised her.

* Read Juno McEnroe’s full report from tonight’s meeting in tomorrow’s Irish Examiner.

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