Friday 23 February 2018

What was said... and who said it

Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter
Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter

Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter told the inquiry he was "firmly of the view that the commissioner was expected by the Taoiseach to consider his position".

Mr Shatter thought that the notion that Brian Purcell had been "asked to go and seek information was fantasy".

Mr Purcell described his meeting with the Garda Commissioner as "one of the worst days of his life".

"I was very clear in my own mind that I didn't have options," Martin Callinan told the commission.

Mr Callinan, Mr Justice Fennelly finds, "interpreted the message delivered to him" by Mr Purcell.

"No note or record of any kind was made of what Mr Purcell was asked to say to the commissioner," the commission found.

"It must have been abundantly clear to everybody that the major issue unresolved was the comments at the PAC and the political storm surrounding it and that for the purpose of the conversation, the taping allegations had greatly complicated the issue rather than resolving it," said Martin Fraser.

The lack of notes is of particular concern to Mr Justice Fennelly because some of those attending differ "sharply" on some of the most crucial points.

"I am advised that the then commissioner, at some point in the late afternoon [March 25th, 2014] went to a filing unit in the Conference Room, where he kept personal papers.He asked Superintendent Walsh to get some black refuse sacks, as he wished to sort through his files. Later still, he asked Superintendent Walsh to dispose of several bags of personal papers. There were possibly 8-10 bags, filled to a few inches if (sic) paper in each bag and knotted on the top." - Assistant Commissioner Jack Nolan.

Irish Independent

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