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Thursday 2 October 2014

Noonan: No inquiry needed into allegations gardai mishandled serious investigations

John Downing Political Correspondent

Published 21/02/2014 | 12:44

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Michael Noonan, Ireland's finance minister, speaks during an interview in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Noonan said Bank of England Governor Mark Carney told him at Davos last week that RBS unit Ulster Banks position in Ireland wont change as part of parent review to conclude next month. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Michael Noonan
Michael Noonan

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan today said he could not see any need for a special inquiry into allegations that Gardaí mishandled serious crime investigations.

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Mr Noonan strongly defended the embattled Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, whom he described as 'a good and reforming Minister'.

"The Opposition are just targeting him at the moment," Mr Noonan, himself a former Justice Minister, said.

The Finance Minister argued that Mr Shatter had already appointed a former High Court judge to examine concerns about surveillance at the Garda Ombudsman Commission.

He also said that the Justice Minister had spent four hours on Wednesday before a committee of TDs and Senators answering questions about the issue.

Mr Noonan dismissed Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein calls for a special inquiry into the latest allegations about Garda investigations into serious crimes including abduction and murder.

The Finance Minister said these matters related to the years 2007-2009 and that was a period when Mr Martin was himself a member of government.

"We already have one inquiry going on and I can see no need for any other inquiry at present," Mr Noonan said.

The Finance Minister said he remembered the circumstances of the 2007 murder of Sylvia Roche Kelly in Limerick.  He said a man had been apprehended and convicted in relation to this killing.

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