Tánaiste 'willing to wait' for outcome of Garda investigation into Barry Cowen complaint

Tánaiste 'willing to wait' for outcome of Garda investigation into Barry Cowen complaint
Minister for Agriculture Barry Cowen TD. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar has said that he is willing to wait for the outcome of an investigation into a complaint by Minister for Agriculture Barry Cowen even though there were more questions to be asked and answered.

Until the Garda investigation into Mr Cowen’s complaint that a report that he tried to avoid a Garda checkpoint was completed “there probably isn’t any more to say about it,” Mr Varadkar told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

The Tánaiste said he agreed with Green Party leader Eamon Ryan there were further questions to be asked and answered. 

“We know that Minister Cowen committed a motoring offence four years ago, he has apologised for that, he paid the price for it which was a three-month ban, and he has since regularised his affairs, and has a full clean licence.

He has been punished for that mistake, I don't believe anyone should be punished twice for that mistake.

Mr Varadkar said that a different issue has arisen since then, which was the Garda report that Mr Cowen may have tried to avoid a Garda checkpoint. 

“He says that's untrue, he's made a complaint to the gardaí about that to have that record corrected, I understand the gardaí are carrying out an investigation into that. At least until that investigation is done there probably isn't any more to say about it.

“We will have to see what the outcome of that investigation is.

“I'm sure Mr Cowen will answer any more questions that are pertinent, more important is that he has made a complaint to the gardaí about this Garda report, I understand the Commissioner has appointed somebody to investigate. We really need to hear the outcome of that investigation before any more steps are taken.” 

Mr Varadkar said he did seek an assurance from the Taoiseach that there wouldn’t be any more revelations or any more stories on the issue other than what was already known. “

This has since emerged, but it is denied by the Minister for Agriculture and he has made a complaint to the gardaí.

“We will hear from an Garda Siochána in due course and I'm willing to wait for the outcome of that investigation.”

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