Connolly feels ‘personal sense of betrayal’ over McCabe tape
Kenny assumes former Garda confidential recipient will make himself available to inquiry
Garda Sgt Maurice McCabe who has been criticised by the former Garda confidential recipient for taping conversations with him. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Oliver Connolly remains ‘an enthusiastic supporter’ of Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
The former Garda confidential recipient has said he feels a “personal sense of betrayal” that Sgt Maurice McCabe taped conversations with him and then released the transcripts.
Oliver Connolly also says he is satisfied he properly discharged his duties in respect of Sgt McCabe and another Garda whistleblower who approached him, and revealed the contents of their alleged conversation.
He believes both approached him “in good faith”.
Full statement: Oliver Connolly
“Crucially, it was also my belief that they had reported to me in confidence and that our discussions were subject to the strictest confidentiality.”
Mr Connolly said he has been “subject to a concentrated attack by certain members of Dáil Éireann” in recent weeks and accused the Opposition of “posturing”.
“My honour, my good name, my professional competence and integrity, my privacy as an ordinary citizen have been impugned.”
He also said he remains an “an enthusiastic supporter” of Minister for Justice Alan Shatter in his programme of reform.
“I have been asked to comment on the Minister for Justice’s decision to relieve me of my duties in office. The Minister and An Taoiseach have acted as they have in relieving me of my position. So be it.”
Responding to the statement, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he assumed Mr Connolly would make himself available to the inquiry being led by barrister Seán Guerin into allegations made by Sgt Maurice McCabe.
“I note the statement of the former confidential recipient. I note his comment in regard to the work rate and the authority of the Minister for Justice. I also note his particular comment in respect of retaining the confidentiality of his office,” Mr Kenny told reporters at Government Buildings.
“I would assume that that should mean that if Senior Counsel Guerin, who is now commissioned by Government to carry out a wholly independent analysis of all of this, that if he’s looking for information that he doesn’t have at his disposal that the former confidential recipient Oliver Connolly would be able to cooperate with him.”
The Taoiseach went on to say he expected Mr Connolly would be able to cooperate with Mr Guerin while “respecting” the confidentiality of his office.
Mr Connolly said he should not be required to validate the alleged conversation taped by Sgt McCabe “and I shall not validate, either by way of confirmation or repudiation the contents of an alleged transcript unlawfully procured”.
“I am precluded from commenting on the contents of the alleged transcript because to so comment would require me to violate the confidentiality of the reporting process and of the office itself.”
Sgt McCabe’s tape, the transcript of which was read into the Dáil record by Fianna Fáil leader Míchéal Martin and Independent TD Mick Wallace, quoted Mr Connolly saying “if Shatter thinks you’re screwing him, you’re finished”.
Mr Shatter sacked Mr Connolly in the wake of the disclosure of the conversation, and the minister was unhappy with his response to the controversy.