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Wednesday 24 September 2014

11 days of crisis over GSOC

Published 19/02/2014 | 02:30

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A timeline of the events in the GSOC debacle.

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Sunday, February 9

'Sunday Times' newspaper reports that the Dublin offices of GSOC may have been subject to bugging and surveillance, with a high-tech level of expertise normally associated with state agencies.

Monday, February 10

Justice Minister Alan Shatter summons GSOC chairman Simon O'Brien to his office to explain why he and the gardai were not informed about the suspected bugging.

Mr O'Brien issues a statement stating the existence of the anomalies "could not be conclusively explained", adding there was "no evidence of garda misconduct", and he expressed regret for not reporting the matter at the time.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan says he is gravely concerned that the Ombudsman's statement appeared to contain a clear indication that An Garda Siochana was in some way suspected.

Tuesday, February 11

Mr Shatter tells the Dail that GSOC has told him there was no evidence that its offices had been bugged and it was unfortunate the gardai appeared to have been the subject of "completely baseless innuendo".

Garda Ombudsman Commissioner Kieran Fitzgerald appears on RTE's 'Prime Time' and says that while there had been no "definitive evidence" of surveillance at the offices, he could not entirely rule it out either. The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors call on Mr O'Brien to "consider his position".

Wednesday, February 12

The Ombudsman appears before TDs and senators at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Public Service Oversight. He says while there was no evidence of bugging, "I certainly suspect or potentially suspect that we may have been under some form of surveillance".

The committee requests an unredacted copy of the report carried out by the UK security firm, and asks that Mr Shatter appear before them next week.

Thursday, February 13

Eamon Gilmore says he is satisfied that no arm of the State had put the GSOC under surveillance.

Mr Shatter goes on 'Prime Time' and says Mr O'Brien's comments to the Oversight Committee diverge from what he had been told when the two met on Monday.

Friday, February 14

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan makes his first public comment at a garda event in Templemore and says he is satisfied that no member of the gardai had ever spied on GSOC.

GSOC issues statement saying "three technical and electronic anomalies" had been found that could not be "conclusively explained" and he also said there had been "no evidence of Garda misconduct".

Saturday, February 15

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton (pictured right) says Mr Shatter has the opportunity to "resolve" the controversy when he appears before the Oireachtas Public Service Oversight and Petitions Committee next week.

Sunday, February 16

Fresh revelations that the security sweep was carried out after a senior garda appeared to have information about a case being investigated by GSOC.

Mr Shatter rules out an independent inquiry and the Garda Commissioner insists no member of the force carried out surveillance at GSOC offices.

Monday, February 17

Government is to "review" how the GSOC controversy erupted and whether its structures are fit for purpose.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and GSOC say they want to see a conclusion to the ongoing controversy.

Tuesday, February 18

Cabinet decides to appoint a retired judge to investigate the controversy. Mr Shatter makes a statement in the Dail.

Today, February 19

Mr Shatter to appear before the Public Service Oversight Committee to answer questions over the scandal.

Irish Independent

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