Sunday 25 September 2016

Fitzgerald runs away from the hard questions

Published 16/01/2016 | 02:30

Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Frank McGrath
Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Frank McGrath

When there's a photo opportunity at Garda Headquarters to be attended, Frances Fitzgerald is there in a flash.

  • Go To

The Minister for Justice talks the talk, rattling off the usual platitudes about the progress on garda reform.

When it comes to answering hard questions, though, the minister has a tendency to go missing.

A hard question is why she introduced legislation last year which gave far-reaching snooping powers to the garda watchdog?

A hard question is whether she plans to review this legislation?

A hard question is what she thinks of the phone records of journalists being accessed by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) as part of an investigation into allegations of garda leaks to the media?

Predictably, Ms Fitzgerald has declined to comment.

Her spokesman says it would be inappropriate to do so while the State's communications data regime is subject to a legal challenge.

That's hogwash.

The Labour Party - purportedly the soft, liberal, side of the Coalition - also declined to make any comment on the matter.

Not for the first time in the lifetime of this administration, Labour has a difficulty in locating its spine.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who has consistently had the bravery to speak out about inadequacies in our policing and justice systems, has stepped forth again.

Mr Varadkar describes the accessing of the phone records of journalists by GSOC as "a little bit odd and sinister".

He also said if the phone records of journalists had been accessed, it represented "an infringement on freedoms".

Watch and learn from your Cabinet colleague, Minister Fitzgerald.

It's called having the courage of your convictions.

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Don't Miss

Editor's Choice