Gardai to take 'cold, calm look' at perjury complaint
Published 20/02/2010 | 05:00
SENIOR gardai are to take "a cold, calm look" at the facts surrounding the controversy that led to the resignation of Defence Minister Willie O'Dea before deciding if a criminal investigation should be launched.
Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy last night said he had not given any direction to initiate an investigation. And he added no decision would be made until they were satisfied whether there was prima facie evidence of criminality.
He was responding to questions about a complaint lodged by a Green Party member, alleging that Mr O'Dea was guilty of a potential criminal misconduct of perjury by swearing a false affidavit and claims by Mr O'Dea that he had received his information linking Sinn Fein Councillor Maurice Quinlivan to a brothel in Limerick city from a garda source.
The complaint was lodged on Thursday at the Bridewell garda station in Dublin by failed Greens council candidate Gary Fitzgerald.
Speaking at the Garda college in Templemore, the commissioner said he was loathe to involve the force in any issue that related to the political debate that had been going on in recent days.
"I'm conscious there was a complaint made in the Bridewell and I'm also conscious that remarks were made in relation to Limerick. Having said that, An Garda Siochana will always do its duty," he added.
"In the next few days, we will be examining in the cold light of day, in a calm way because the debate has been considerably heated in recent days -- we will examine that and see if any action is required from An Garda Siochana."
Mr Murphy promised the gardai would determine if there was prima facie evidence of criminality and would do their duty if they were required to take further action to move the issue forward.
"This is one for cool consideration of the facts," he added.
"We don't start investigations as a result of listening to the radio or picking up the newspapers. We deal in facts."
Asked about the suggestion that Mr O'Dea had heard of the brothel allegation from gardai gossip, he said he was not going to be drawn into answering questions about that issue.
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said any criminal investigation was a matter for the Garda authorities.