Taoiseach expresses his ‘absolute confidence’ in GSOC chair

Enda Kenny says he is ‘not responsible’ for headlines claiming he rebuked commission

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has expressed  “absolute confidence” in GSOC chairwoman  Judge Mary Ellen Ring. Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has expressed “absolute confidence” in GSOC chairwoman Judge Mary Ellen Ring. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has expressed his “absolute confidence” in the chairwoman of Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), Judge Mary Ellen Ring.

Mr Kenny told the Dáil he had “confidence in the capabilities of the eminent judicial chairman of GSOC”, in the wake of revelations the commission had viewed two journalists’ phone records without their knowledge or consent following complaints about reports on the death of model Katy French in 2007.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach whether he had rebuked the commission over the viewing of journalists’ phone records.

Mr Martin said media reports suggested the Taoiseach had criticised GSOC.

Mr Kenny replied he was not responsible for headlines and repeated his confidence in the GSOC chair.

Protecting sources

The Taoiseach had earlier indicated that changing the legislation allowing the commission to look at journalists’ records might be necessary to protect sources.

Retired chief justice John Murray has been appointed to review the current legislation.

Mr Kenny said it was a “complicated matter”.