Judge to decide if McCabe inquiry to cover other whistleblowers

Taoiseach signals his support for the inclusion of other Garda whistleblowers

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said it is a matter for the tribunal of inquiry judge to decide if its remit should be extended to other Garda whistleblowers but he signalled his support for their inclusion.

Justice spokespersons for each of the political parties are due to discuss the terms of reference of the tribunal of inquiry, looking at allegations that senior Garda management was involved in a smear campaign against Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

Other whistleblowers in the force have sought to be included in the tribunal.

Mr Kenny told Green party leader Eamon Ryan that "because the protected disclosure centrally involved two senior offices in the State, it will be matter for the judge who will conduct the tribunal of inquiry, though I would think that it should be appropriate that there would be a facility there that if the judge thought fit it would be extended to other whistleblowers".


Mr Ryan said that if they were to keep the tribunal from running at length and costing hundreds of millions of euro “it would be unwise to leave it to the judge”.

Under renewed pressure from the Opposition over his state of knowledge about the allegations of sexual crimes made against Sgt Maurice McCabe and included in a Tusla file, Mr Kenny referred again to his conversation with Minister for Children Katherine Zappone.

He insisted that he was legally precluded from reading the files.

Mr Kenny repeated he had been made aware of a Tusla file by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone but she did not comment on any detail in the conversation she had with Sgt McCabe.

‘Cabinet telepathy’

Mr Martin suggested there was “an extraordinary display of Cabinet telepathy’’, given each Minister deduced for themselves individually that the investigation would cover the Tusla file, although they knew nothing about its contents.

Mr Kenny said the terms of reference before the Cabinet clearly had as a central issue whether there was a smear campaign by senior gardaí against Sgt McCabe.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said the Government's motion of confidence to be debated on Wednesday evening says "Dáil Éireann reaffirms its confidence in the Government".

Mr Adams said the motion had only the Taoiseach’s signature and no other. He asked if Mr Kenny could not get the support of any other party TDs.

“Could you not get a dig out from your partners in Government - the Independents?” he asked.

The motion of confidence counters the Sinn Féin motion of no confidence in the Government.

Mr Adams asked “why would any sensible caring person want this incoherent, incompetent, shambolic Government to survive”.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times

Michael O'Regan

Michael O'Regan

Michael O’Regan is a former parliamentary correspondent of The Irish Times