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Try asking the gardai what happened, Taoiseach

You don't have to be Inspector Morse to know that when you want to solve a case you go straight to the source.

Ironically, it's a tactic employed on a daily basis by gardai in this country that could have cut this Shatter saga, and the Dail hours devoted to it, in half.

It seems somewhere along the chain in this tale, common sense has gone out the window and taken the last shred of respect for this Government out with it.

If the Taoiseach wanted to know exactly what went on the night Mr Shatter was stopped, then why didn't he just ask the gardai involved?

Surely there's only one way to establish exactly what happened – talk to the people involved on both sides of the conversation.

This paper's sources are adamant that a report was prepared and that it questioned Mr Shatter's behaviour at the checkpoint.

The Taoiseach, the Garda Commissioner and the minister can drone on all they like that no report has been found, but we are satisfied that our sources are on this credible.

And this issue could have been very easily resolved if someone had done the sensible thing and interviewed the gardai involved.

Why did Enda's people at no point tell the Garda Commissioner's people to identify the three officers who were on duty that night on Pembroke Street and ask them about their version of events?

If he had, then he would have been in the informed position of being armed with all the facts before launching into such a staunch defence of the minister at the centre of the allegations.

A simple exercise of joined-up thinking might have spared the people of this country days of speculation, cross-party bickering and unanswered questions.

And there appears to be a pattern emerging.

A similar situation was allowed to grow out of control at the time of the Savita Halappanavar furore.

Following days of outrage and confusion as to exactly what had happened the tragic young mother, Enda Kenny stood up in the Dail and appealed for her husband to communicate with an investigation into the matter.

Opposition leader Micheal Martin rightly hammered the Taoiseach on such a ham-fisted and clunky way of dealing with the situation.

It emerged that not once had the Taoiseach, the Health Minister or their highly paid teams of special advisors contacted the grieving man at the centre of the debate.

The Taoiseach was so far removed from the situation that he couldn't employ common logic and pick up the telephone to talk to him.

As the leader of this country, he should have reached out to this devastated man, whose wife and child had died within hours of each other, and taken his version of events on board.

And in this ongoing Shatter case, he, or someone close to him, should have made contact with the gardai involved and listened and noted what their version of events was.

Enda Kenny's unrelenting support of Alan Shatter, without access to all the information, proves yet again that he is putting his government buddies ahead of the public interest.

Irish Independent