Shatter should have known about taping allegations last summer, says FF leader

Micheál Martin questions the Government’s claim that it only became aware of a serious issue with recordings over the weekend

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: “The Government purported to say yesterday that this information was new to it when it was clear it was made aware through the Department of Justice last summer. Why did it let on that it did not know?” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: “The Government purported to say yesterday that this information was new to it when it was clear it was made aware through the Department of Justice last summer. Why did it let on that it did not know?” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Wed, Mar 26, 2014, 01:03


Fianna Fáil has questioned the Government’s claim that it only became aware of a serious issue with phone calls being recorded over the course of the weekend.

Party leader Micheál Martin said Minister for Justice Alan Shatter should have been aware of the matter last summer when a Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) report highlighted the problem.

The GSOC report followed the prosecution of four garda í for the assault of a man, Anthony Holness, in Waterford in 2010. In the course of the case it emerged that a system of recording calls made to and from Garda stations was in widespread use .

The GSOC called on Garda commissioner Martin Callanan to review the practice given the questions surrounding its legal basis.

The practice was stopped in November 2013, some four months after the GSOC report in July.

Mr Martin told The Irish Time s last night that the GSOC report was passed on to the Minister and to the Department of Justice as it was a requirement under section 103 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

He said it cast serious doubt on the claim by Government that it first became aware only last weekend. “Why did the Government present the information in such a manner ?

“The Government purported to say yesterday that this information was new to it when it was clear it was made aware through the Department of Justice last summer. Why did it let on that it did not know? ”