Friday 20 April 2018

It's time to lift blinds on culture of secrecy at the heart of justice

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan. Picture: David Conachy
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan. Picture: David Conachy
Liz O'Donnell

Liz O'Donnell

Two weeks on and the GSOC saga not only has legs but has morphed into something even more ominous for the Government, managing to eclipse the biggest white-collar trial in living memory. It has turned out to be the proverbial can of worms.

What baffles this old hand is why Justice Minister Alan Shatter was so reluctant to launch an immediate independent investigation of the claim that GSOC had arranged a security sweep of their premises because they thought they were being bugged. Instead of standing back in acceptance that this was a grave matter, he stalled and tried to make light of the whole story. Moreover, by taking sides he discredited the GSOC.

Although a courageous and reforming minister, Shatter has form when it comes to disregard for whistleblowers. His handling of the very serious penalty points issue left a lot to be desired. Sometimes it's not the substance of the controversy but rather the handling of it which is the test of government. In this case, given the technical nature of surveillance, most of us glaze over and suspend judgment. But people draw inferences from the demeanour of the cast of players, particularly when it is televised live.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

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

Don't Miss