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Sunday 21 September 2014

GSOC row: the political reaction

Published 11/02/2014 | 02:30

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* TAOISEACH Enda Kenny said the Government must get all the information on the alleged bugging today.

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"I think it is very important that the details of what transpired here be made available to the minister for public analysis and for reporting to cabinet," Mr Kenny said.

He also said the Ombudsman Commission was obliged under Section 80.5 of the Garda Siochana Act 2005 to report their suspicions to Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

"Most importantly, Section 80, subsection five, of the Garda Siochana Act requires that GSOC would report unusual matters or matters of exceptional importance to the Minister for Justice and that's a fundamental issue that GSOC needs to explain to the Minister for Justice," he said.

*  TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore said the alleged bugging claims – if true – were 'sinister' and 'unacceptable'.

"It shouldn't be happening, but I'd like to see what Minister Shatter is going to tell us about it and what he knows about it," the Labour leader said.

*  EDUCATION Minister Ruairi Quinn said he was surprised the Justice Minister had not been told about the alleged bugging.

"I would get briefings on a regular basis about confidential matters on the basis that I should know. That would be the same with any senior person in any organisation," Mr Quinn said.

*  CHILDREN'S Minister Frances Fitzgerald said: "It is astounding, I'm quite shocked obviously. If these allegations are true, and we have to get the details of what are allegations at this stage, we need to see the full detail, and I have no doubt we will have a discussion at Cabinet on it tomorrow."

*  COMMUNICATIONS Minister Pat Rabbitte expressed concern but said he had to keep an open mind. "It is, of course, sinister if what is alleged did actually happen. But I don't think we should jump to conclusions at this stage."

*  FIANNA Fail justice spokesman Niall Collins accused the Justice Minister of wrongly shifting the debate to the Ombudsman's obligation to inform him about their suspicions.

"The minister needs to realise the seriousness of this situation and move quickly to establish who is responsible for this surveillance and on whose authority the individual or organisation was acting."

Irish Independent

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