Saturday 18 November 2017

Flanagan accused of deflecting McCabe questions

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. Photo: Tom Burke
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. Photo: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has been accused of using "childish lectures" to deflect from legitimate questions about the treatment of whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

The minister has insisted there is "no question" the Department of Justice sought to interfere with the approach taken by former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan at the O'Higgins Commission. He was responding to queries from Labour TD Alan Kelly, who has suggested officials in the Department were aware of plans to discredit Mr McCabe.

It has been reported that Ms O'Sullivan's lawyers set out to challenge Mr McCabe's "credibility and motivation", while publicly praising him.

Mr Flanagan said: "It was solely a matter for the parties to the O'Higgins Commission of Investigation to decide what legal approach to take to the commission, taking into account the legal advice available to them.

"The Department of Justice and Equality would have had no role in determining the approach to be taken by the Garda Commissioner."

However, Mr Kelly said the minister had avoided the question of whether the department was "aware" of Ms O'Sullivan's adopted legal strategy.

Irish Independent

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