Monday 19 March 2018

Kenny confirms receipt of Cooke report into alleged GSOC bugging

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has confirmed that his office has received the highly anticipated Cooke report - which examined the alleged bugging of the Office of the Garda Ombudsman in Dublin.

Mr Kenny told reporters in Silicon Valley that he will ensure the report is made public as soon as possible.

Retired High Court Judge John Cooke was tasked with examining allegations that the offices of the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) on Abbey Street were subject to "unlawful surveillance".

The allegations, which first emerged in February, sent shockwaves through justice and political circles.

Speaking to reporters outside Google headquarters in California, Mr Kenny said he has not yet seen the report due to his engagements abroad.

"I want to see it and read it obviously, I'll see that it is deliberated on by government in the shortest time and published as we've committed to do already," he said.

The Cooke report is expected to identify the sequence of events and facts leading up to the inquiry and aims to review and assess any evidence of a security breach or attempted security breach at GSOC.

If necessary, the inquiry will make recommendations on how to improve the existing security arrangements of GSOC. There could also be recommendations with regard to legislation.

Meanwhile, Mr Kenny has held his first conversation with the new US ambassador Ireland, Kevin O'Malley.

The Taoiseach said he is looking forward to a "very active and energetic ambassadorship" from Mr O'Malley, who is a lawyer based in the US state of Missouri.

According to Mr Kenny, Mr O'Malley is "interested in moving around the country" once he takes up his post.

"I spoke to ambassador designate O'Malley yesterday. His people came from Westport in Co Mayo, they emigrated to Scotland and from there to the United States," Mr Kenny said.

"He is a man who is very interested in taking up this position as ambassador and I expect he will be confirmed in the shortest possible time," he added.

Mr O'Malley's appointment was formally announced this week by US President Barack Obama.

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