Thursday 22 August 2019

McCabe awaiting clarification on email to Tanaiste as controversy continues

Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Niall O'Connor

Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe is still awaiting clarification from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar over the contents of the controversial email that has plunged the Government into crisis.

Sources close to the whistleblower told Independent.ie that he has serious concerns about the email and that he is monitoring political developments before deciding whether to make a public statement.

The same sources said Sgt McCabe is shocked at how it has taken two years for the email in question to emerge.

The email, sent for Tánaiste Ms Fitzgerald's attention when she was justice minister in 2015, details how she was informed that lawyers for the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan intended to  raise an allegation regarding a serious criminal complaint which Mr McCabe had always denied at the O'Higgins Commission.

Sources close to Sgt McCabe insist that the transcripts show that no such claim was made. He is therefore shocked and dissatisfied as to how the claim appeared in the email, the sources told Independent.ie.

The news comes as Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin this evening called on his TDs and senators to hold fire in relation to the future of Ms Fitzgerald.

Mr Martin told his parliamentary party this evening that he wants “time and space” to consider Fianna Fáil’s response to the Government’s handling of the  McCabe controversy.

It was widely anticipated that tonight’s meeting would be significant - with several Fianna Fáil TDs telling Independent.ie that they wanted the party to demand Ms Fitzgerald’s resignation.

But several sources present said Mr Martin defused the issue immediately, asking for more “time and space”.

The meeting was then adjourned after a vote in the Dáil was called.

Senior Fianna Fáil figures insisted they could not discuss the prospect of a Sinn Féin motion until the party holds its own meeting at 8pm tonight.

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