Thursday 21 June 2018

Shatter to use O'Higgins Report in whistleblower appeal

Alan Shatter. Photo: Frank McGrath
Alan Shatter. Photo: Frank McGrath

Philip Ryan and Shane Phelan

The findings of the commission of investigation into garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe's allegations of malpractice in the force will be central to a forthcoming High Court appeal taken by former Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

Mr Shatter challenged the findings of a review of Sgt McCabe's allegations by barrister Sean Guerin but the High Court rejected the case.

Mr Guerin's report was severely critical of Mr Shatter's handling of Sgt McCabe's claims and led to his resignation after a series of garda scandals.

The Guerin Report also recommended the establishment of a commission of investigation to review Sgt McCabe's allegations and the former minister's actions.

The commission's report, which was chaired by Mr Justice Kevin O'Higgins, has yet to be published - but is understood to have found Mr Shatter acted appropriately.

The Irish Independent has learned O'Higgins Report will be central to Mr Shatter's appeal of the High Court's rejection of his bid to quash some of the findings against him in the Guerin Report.

The case is before the Court of Appeal on June 21.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, whose office received the report on Monday, is now facing demands from Mr Shatter for its immediate publication.

However, she has insisted she is still engaged in a process of consultation with Attorney General Máire Whelan regarding publication.

"The minister wishes to see the report published as quickly as possible," a spokesman said.

It has previously been indicated by government sources that the report could be published next week.

Irish Independent

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