JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter has said he was “astonished” by the alleged conversation between sacked garda confidential recipient Oliver Connolly and garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.
Mr Connolly is alleged to have told Garda Sergeant McCabe that the Justice Minister would “go after” him if he pursued his claim of malpractice in the force.
Mr Connolly was sacked when transcripts of the conversation was read into the Dail by opposition politicians.
Speaking in the Dail today, Minister Shatter said he had “absolutely no idea what Mr Connolly was thinking”.
He added: “To be quite frank with you, I am utterly astonished at some of the commentary that has come into the public arena. I don’t understand why he conducted himself in that way.
It remains as much of a surprise and a mystery to me as I’m sure it would to others. Genuinely, I cannot explain this.”
Minister Shatter previously said he was forced to sack Mr Connolly because he would not deny the alleged comments.
Mr Connolly’s appointment two years ago led to accusations of political cronyism when it emerged he donated €1,000 to Mr Shatter’s 2007 general election.