Saturday 17 March 2018

Gilmore asked about bugs last summer

Fionnan Sheahan Group Political Editor

THE Government raised concerns with the US authorities about the possible bugging of phone calls in Ireland. Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore's top official discussed the matter with the US Embassy earlier this summer.

The contact from Geraldine Byrne-Nason, the second secretary general at the Department of the Taoiseach, came in the wake of revelations of the bugging of EU countries.

The scandal has escalated further since it emerged German Chancellor Angela Merkel was being bugged by the US.

Mr Gilmore's spokesman confirmed last night that the matter was taken up at official level during the summer.

The contact followed the initial revelations about spying on France and the European Union.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said last week he had not checked with the US authorities about Ireland also being on the list of friendly countries being targeted.

While Mr Kenny did not personally bring the matter up, the Tanaiste confirmed it was brought up on the Government's behalf in response to a parliamentary question.

Last week, Mr Kenny said he had not raised the possibility of phone calls and emails in Ireland being spied on with the US authorities.

But he continued to insist there was no evidence of US bugging in Ireland.

"In the information that has been presented so far, it appears that a listening post was not based here in Dublin," he said.

Irish Independent

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