10 questions the Tánaiste needs to answer

Controversy around Fitzgerald’s awareness of legal strategy against Maurice McCabe continues

Tánaiste  Frances Fitzgerald at Templemore Garda College  with the then garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan last April. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald at Templemore Garda College with the then garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan last April. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

The controversy surrounding the Tánaiste’s knowledge of a legal strategy enforced by the former Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan against Maurice McCabe is continuing today.

Frances Fitzgerald’s awareness of attempts by Ms O’Sullivan to undermine Mr McCabe’s credibility and motivation was again questioned in the Dáil on Wednesday.

However, despite two days of debate, there are still a number of questions for Ms Fitzgerald to answer.

1. An email was sent to the Tánaiste in May 2015 advising her of the strategy being enforced against Mr McCabe. Who sent the email and who else was it sent to?

2. Did the Tánaiste read the email? If she did, did she discuss its contents with the official who sent the email?

3. If she saw the email, why did the Tánaiste not instruct the legal team representing the Department of Justice to object or question Ms O’Sullivan’s approach?

4. Did she make former taoiseach Enda Kenny aware of the email having read it?

5. Why was the email not found until last Thursday given there is a tribunal examining this matter?

6. The email contained an allegation of a criminal complaint being used against Mr McCabe during the O’Higgins commission. Such a matter did not arise until a few days later. Why did the email contain information that had not yet occurred?

7. The Tánaiste was reminded of the existence of the email last Thursday. Why did she not notify the Taoiseach until Monday night?

8. Was the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan aware of the email? And if so, when did he become aware of it?

9. Why did the Tánaiste not send the email to the tribunal examining these matters?

10. The Taoiseach spoke to Maurice McCabe last night, who challenged the contents of the email. Why did the Taoiseach not inform the Tánaiste of this before she addressed the Dáil last night?