Text messages and letters sent by Alan Shatter, the former justice minister, reveal he began building his case against the Guerin statutory inquiry into alleged garda malpractice as far back as July of last year.
Officials in the Department of Justice and for the new minister, Frances Fitzgerald, on several occasions last year said Mr Shatter was seeking files relating to the inquiry for the period when he was in office.
The Irish Examiner has obtained details of text messages and letters sent by Mr Shatter.
In one text message on July 2, Mr Shatter told the private secretary to Ms Fitzgerald that he wanted documents relevant to the inquiry which is examining allegations made by garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.
“Want to finalise my papers relevant to Guerin for the stat inquiry to be held. Any sign of the bundle of docs given to Guerin as referenced in the copy correspondence yet being available? Sorry to bother u again with this. A [sic]”
The private secretary was also told in a separate email sent by department officials on June 24 that Mr Shatter was seeking relevant details.
“The previous minister has asked would it be possible to get copies of correspondence between the Dept and McCabe [sic] for the time he was minster,” the ministerial secretary wrote.
It emerged yesterday that a Dáil debate this week into the statutory inquiry into allegations of garda wrongdoing was cancelled after a letter was sent to the Ceann Comhairle from Mr Shatter’s solicitor.
Elsewhere, the Freedom of Information documents released also show that Mr Shatter sought advice from the Department of Justice about charity Rehab and a high court case for an interview he did with Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late Show.
In another text to Ms Fitzgerald’s private secretary on September 24, the TD said: “I am doing a media interview over weekend in which I may be asked about Rehab. Wondering can u inform me whether Rehab appealed against H Crt decision and if not whether the time for filing an appeal has expired.”
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