Friday 24 March 2017

Shatter: Kenny was 'mistaken' in Dáil speech on whistleblower

Alan Shatter and Enda Kenny Picture: Steve Humphreys
Alan Shatter and Enda Kenny Picture: Steve Humphreys
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Alan Shatter has heaped pressure on Taoiseach Enda Kenny by accusing him of "mistakenly" telling the Dáil he accepted responsibility for failings surrounding Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe's allegations of misconduct in the force.

In a strongly worded letter to the Fine Gael leader, Mr Shatter claims that the report from Mr Justice Kevin O'Higgins's Commission of Investigation "totally contradicts" the findings of barrister Sean Guerin's report on the same allegations.

Mr Guerin's report led to the resignation of Mr Shatter as Justice Minister, after its findings pointed to alleged failings in his dealings with Sgt McCabe.

Mr Shatter said he was "surprised" Mr Kenny and current Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald did not note the discrepancies between the two reports when the O'Higgins Commission published its findings.

He said he raised concerns about Mr Guerin's report on the day of his resignation and in the weeks that followed.

He said that the report had "an enormously damaging effect on my good name and reputation both as a politician and as a lawyer".

"On the day of my resignation, the 7th May, 2014, you mistakenly informed the Dáil that when resigning, I 'took responsibility' for the 'inadequacy of the action' taken by me 'in responding to the allegations made by Sgt McCabe' as depicted in the Guerin Report," Mr Shatter said.

"No such acceptance of 'responsibility' was either expressed by me or contained in my letter of resignation and it is clear, as a consequence of the O'Higgins Report, that there is no question of the action taken by me being inadequate."

Correction

Mr Shatter has asked the Taoiseach to issue a correction to the remarks he made on the Dáil record.

The Taoiseach's spokesman confirmed receipt of the letter and said Mr Kenny would respond in due course.

However, a senior government source said Mr Shatter's resignation letter noted that his continuation in office at the time would "prevent the government from doing its business".

The source also noted that Mr Shatter sought to excluded himself from the O'Higgins Commission before it started.

Irish Independent

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