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Shatter relieves Confidential Recipient for whistleblowers of his duties


Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. Photo: Tony Gavin

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. Photo: Tony Gavin

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. Photo: Tony Gavin

JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter has let go the Confidential Recipient of information from whistleblowers on wrongdoing in the Garda Siochana.

Oliver Connolly was at the centre of controversy around a conversation he had with Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says Mr Shatter has relieved Mr Connolly of his duties.

In the conversation, quoted in the Dail, Mr Connolly told Mr McCabe that Mr Shatter will "go after you".

"If stuff was to get out into the public, the print media, I tell you something Maurice - and this is just personal advice to you - if Shatter thinks you're screwing him, you're finished.

"What I'm saying to you is, if stuff is to get into print broadcasting media, if Shatter thinks it's you, or if he thinks that it is told by the Commissioner or the gardaí, here's this guy again trying another route to put you under pressure, he'll go after you," the transcript says.

Last week, Mr Kenny sought a report from the Department of Justice about the veracity or otherwise of the transcripts.

Mr Kenny said he has now received a report from the Secretary General of the Department of Justice, who has made contacts with the Confidential Recipient.

Following the report, Mr Shatter has now contacted Mr Connolly.

"He has this morning relieved Mr Connolly of his duties," he said.

Meanwhile, Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte said on RTE Radio's News at One today that he supported Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

"I happen to know Maurice McCabe for some considerable time, and he is an honest, upstanding and very diligent member of the force."

"I would vouch for Mr McCabe's character."

Mr Rabbitte said he welcomes the development that serving members of the gardai can have direct access to the garda ombudsman.

He said he believed the"most significant development" over the past few weeks to be the commitment by government "to improve the situation".

The Oireachtas justice committee will be asked to review the legislation governing GSOC with a view to changing the law.

A retired High Court Judge is to examine all the issues surrounding the 10-day-old allegations concerning the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) headquarters in central Dublin.

And Mr Rabbitte said he hoped this would end the "play acting that is going on" by the Opposition, calling for two separate reviews.

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