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Sunday 21 September 2014

Four pages, 1,782 words, lots of anger, but no answers

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Published 05/03/2014 | 02:30

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Oliver Connolly waited until 13 days after the announcement of his sacking to make his first public comment on the issue.

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One would have hoped he would have used that time to draft a comprehensive account about the alleged comments he is said to have made to garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

But instead of clarifying the core issue, he went on the attack – railing against politicians, the media and the whistleblower, who he said had betrayed him.

Sgt McCabe had been in contact with Mr Connolly to complain about the promotion of another officer, who he alleged had been involved in cases that were not properly investigated.

The sergeant's complaint was investigated and was deemed to be unfounded. Mr Connolly met Sgt McCabe on February 8, 2012, to relay the outcome of the investigation to him.

The Dail record contains an account of a portion of that conversation. It says Mr Connolly told Sgt McCabe: "I'll tell you something, Maurice, and this is just personal advice to you – if Shatter thinks you're screwing him, you're finished."

While Mr Connolly's statement is a long one – four pages, 1,782 words – it does not answer the key questions raised by these remarks. Did he or did he not say what he is alleged to have said? And if he did say it, why did he say it and on what basis did he form those views?

Irish Independent

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