Friday 23 August 2019

'Frankly I couldn't care less' - Alan Kelly reacts to Charlie Flanagan's apology

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has apologised to Labour TD Alan Kelly
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has apologised to Labour TD Alan Kelly
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Alan Kelly has called for Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan to step down from office and said the Department needs to be "split in two".

Charlie Flanagan issued a formal apology to Labour TD Alan Kelly in the Dáil tonight after he alleged Mr Kelly was engaged in a smear campaign against him.

Speaking on The Tonight Show on TV3, Mr Kelly said "frankly I couldn't care less" about the apology.

While he said that he accepted Mr Flanagan's apology, it wasn't a matter of concern for him.

Eoghan Murphy, Mary Lou McDonald, Jim O'Callaghan and Alan Kelly on TV3's The Tonight Show
Eoghan Murphy, Mary Lou McDonald, Jim O'Callaghan and Alan Kelly on TV3's The Tonight Show

"It's not that important to me to be honest with you," he told hosts Ivan Yates and Matt Cooper.

"I'd rather analyse the date and the time that he actually went berserk in the Dáil, which was kind of ludicrous and embarrassing for all and why he was so het up at the time," Mr Kelly said.

"We all know why he was so angry. The lid was about to come off. My questions were so detailed he knew we were one step away from this exploding."

Read more: 'I reacted badly' - Justice Minister apologises to Alan Kelly for alleging he engaged in smear campaign against him

The exchange between Mr Kelly and Mr Flanagan took place in the Dáil on November 15.

Mr Flanagan alleged that Mr Kelly was engaged in a smear campaign against him when Mr Kelly asked questions of the Department of Justice about Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Read more: Minister accuses Alan Kelly of 'smear campaign' in extraordinary Dáil exchanges

"I genuinely believe there are a lot more questions to be asked in relation to a wide range of issues," Mr Kelly said tonight.

"I genuinely believe there's an opportunity for the Taoiseach to have a mini reshuffle or do whatever's necessary but I do believe that this [Charlie Flanagan] shouldn't stay in this Department."

"I believe it needs a new person to come in here and clean it out. A new Secretary General has to come in as well. This Department needs to be split in two, it's dysfunctional.

"Policing and security need to be separated totally," Mr Kelly added.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section