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Saturday 16 December 2017

Donegal solicitor calls for Morris Tribunal to be revisited

Niall O'Connor and John Downing

THE solicitor who first raised allegations of bugging at a Donegal garda station 13 years ago has said he will ask Taoiseach Enda Kenny to revisit the findings of the Morris Tribunal.

Paudge Dorrian claimed in 2001 that senior gardai were illegally intercepting phone calls between solicitors and their clients at Letterkenny garda station.

He made the claims on behalf of his client, former garda detective John White, who was dismissed from the force after being subject to adverse findings by the Morris Tribunal. Mr White subsequently claimed that bugging was rampant within the force.

The allegations were raised in the Dail by Alan Shatter, who described the situation as a "scandal of enormous proportions".

Mr Shatter, who was a Fine Gael opposition TD at the time, had his claims dismissed as "unfounded" by the then Justice Minister John O'Donoghue.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach conceded the systematic recording of garda station phone calls could threaten the outcome of tribunals and court cases.


Mr Kenny did not specify which tribunals were most likely to be affected – but is understood to have meant the 1997-2012 Flood/Mahon Tribunal into politicians and planning corruption; and/or the 1997-2011 Moriarty Tribunal, into the financial affairs of Charles Haughey and Michael Lowry.

"I don't know the scale of the actual contents of what are in all those tapes but we're concerned about it," the Taoiseach said. "It's a serious issue, where in some cases court cases have been dealt with, others reaching up as far as tribunals, it may have implications for some of the findings there."

Mr Dorrian believes the tribunal's verdicts must be revisited.

"I've been preaching this for 10 years and nobody would believe me," he said last night.

He said he believed this week's allegations have vindicated him and his client.

Irish Independent

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