Alan Shatter acknowledges ‘fault on both sides’
Minister does not apologise to Sgt Maurice McCabe
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter arriving at Leinster House. The Minister has been under pressure to apologise to Sgt Maurice McCabe for telling the Dáil that the Garda officer would not cooperate with the inquiry, but there was no apology during yesterday’s day-long Dáil debate on the affair.
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said there was “fault on both sides” when Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe was not interviewed in a Garda investigation into his allegations about penalty points.
Although Mr Shatter has questioned why Sgt McCabe was not invited to an interview or why a phone call was not made, he could not see how Sgt McCabe could be described as cooperating with the inquiry by Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney.
“I think, frankly, there was fault on both sides,” he told the Dáil.
Although Mr Shatter said Sgt McCabe “clearly was not directed” to engage with the inquiry, he said he was still invited to do so. The Minister has been under pressure to apologise to Sgt McCabe for telling the Dáil that the Garda officer would not cooperate with the inquiry, but there was no apology during yesterday’s day-long Dáil debate on the affair.
After Mr Shatter attacked the intervention of Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness made further claims last night.
He said there was a new sexual harassment case that had gone “nowhere”, even though it went through all available procedures.
“I question the fact that the Minister sacked the confidential recipient rather than keep him in place until this matter has been fully dealt with,” Mr McGuinness said.
“I would like to have asked the confidential recipient why he said to the lady that the last man who used the service was now washing cars in Navan. That is what was said. The person stands over that claim.”
The confidential recipient Oliver Connolly was dismissed by Mr Shatter last week after the Minister said that he had undermined the office in an alleged conversation with Sgt McCabe. The confidential recipient acts in a liaison role for whistleblowers.
The Government this week appointed senior counsel Seán Guerin to assess Sgt McCabe’s claims of acute malpractice in the Garda.
Mr Shatter said all the allegations had been fully examined by appropriate authorities during the last government.
He also questioned Sgt McCabe’s recording of a conversation with the senior officer and his claims of corrupt acts.
Sgt McCabe declined to comment on yesterday’s Dáil proceedings, but sources close to him said that he would apply to remove from the Dáil record the Minister’s assertions that he did not cooperate with the O’Mahoney inquiry.
Sgt McCabe would never accept the implication of “fault” on his part by Mr Shatter, the sources added.