Monday 23 January 2017

Lessons to be learned from O'Higgins report

Published 12/05/2016 | 02:30

Former minister Alan Shatter (Picture: Tony Gavin)
Former minister Alan Shatter (Picture: Tony Gavin)

When it comes to controversial reports, the nature of a minister's reaction - or the lack thereof - can become almost as much of an issue as the one which prompted the report in the first place.

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Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald gave her response to the O'Higgins report on allegations of Garda malpractice in the Cavan-Monaghan region yesterday. She said she had sympathy for her predecessor, Alan Shatter, and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan. Did not both men lose their respective positions over justice and policing controversies? It is unlikely therefore that "sympathy" will butter many parsnips for either man.

For the record, the report found Mr Shatter, Mr Callinan and the Department of Justice handled complaints made by whistle-blower Maurice McCabe in a professional and appropriate manner "at all times". If that's the case, one has to ask, why did they have to leave office?

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