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Connolly hits back over 'betrayal' by whistleblower

THE former garda confidential recipient has accused garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe of betraying him by secretly taping a conversation and releasing the transcript.

Barrister Oliver Connolly slammed members of the Oireachtas and the media over the events which led to him being dismissed.

Mr Connolly refused to confirm or deny the content of the conversation, which triggered his sacking last month by Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

But in the latest turn in the drama, he broke his silence about the controversy.

In his four-page statement he said that he was subjected to an attack by certain members of the Oireachtas as part of "a naked political attempt to embarrass" Mr Shatter.

He said that he stood by Mr Shatter, despite the minister's decision to sack him and he was satisfied that he had discharged his duties properly.

"The minister is often misunderstood and, strange as it may seem to some, despite recent events, I remain an enthusiastic supporter of the minister in his programme of reform," he said.

Mr Connolly also accused Sgt McCabe of a "betrayal" and a "serious breach of confidence" after the garda taped a conversation in February 2012 but maintained that he (Mr Connolly) should not confirm or deny the accuracy of the transcript as this would "violate the confidentiality" of the confidential recipient's office.

PERSONAL

"There is also a personal sense of betrayal in that the principal whistleblower felt it necessary to vindicate his rights by infringing my rights and, by extension, the privacy of my family," he said in the statement.

He said that his privacy had been breached and concluded his statement by saying that the only solace he can find is that it has sparked an open and frank discussion about the transparency and accountability of Irish policing.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he expected Mr Connolly to co-operate fully with barrister Sean Guerin, who is conducting an independent inquiry into claims by Sgt McCabe that serious cases involving murder, abduction and assault were not investigated properly.

A spokesperson for Mr Shatter said the minister had no comment on Mr Connolly's statement.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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