Shatter declines to say if Connolly should appear at committee

Garda confidential recipient says he is considering whether to co-operate with review of Garda whistleblower’s allegations

Minister for Justice

Alan Shatter

has declined to say if former Garda confidential recipient

Oliver Connolly


should appear before the


justice committee or co-operate with a review of allegations made by Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Mr Connolly, sacked as confidential recipient by Mr Shatter last month, has said he is “uncertain” about what an appearance by him before the committee would achieve.

Mr Connolly said he is considering whether he will co-operate with a review of Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe’s allegations of misconduct within the force being carried out by Seán Guerin SC.

Mr Shatter would not say if Mr Connolly should co-operate with the inquiry set up by the Government.

This week Mr Connolly said he was still bound by the office he held as confidential recipient, and could not comment on any “alleged” or “unverified” conversations between himself and Sgt McCabe.

Sgt McCabe taped a conversation he had with Mr Connolly, and later released this to Independent TD Mick Wallace and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Mr Martin and Mr Wallace quoted Mr Connolly as telling Sgt McCabe: "If Shatter thinks you're screwing him, you're finished."

When asked if and why he said this, Mr Connolly, who said he felt a “personal sense of betrayal” that the conversation was taped, replied that he could not say anything because of the confidentiality of his former office.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he assumes Mr Connolly will be able to co-operate with Mr Guerin's inquiry without breaching confidentiality. However, in response to a query from The Irish Times , Mr Shatter would not go that far.

He was asked if Mr Connolly should appear before the justice committee and co-operate with Mr Guerin's review and any other investigations that may be carried out by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.

In reply, his spokesperson said: “These are matters for Oliver Connolly and the Minister does not propose to comment.”

Mr Connolly did not respond to queries last night.