Latest: Attorney General has my full confidence, says Taoiseach

Update 2pm: The Taoiseach has expressed "full confidence" in the Attorney General in the wake of the Fennelly Commission report, writes Elaine Loughlin.

His comment comes after former Justice Minister Alan Shatter said AG Máire Whelan's position is "untenable" after the publication of the report into garda phone tapping.

Asked if he still has confidence in Ms Whelan, the Taoiseach said: "Absolutely, the Attorney General has my full confidence."

Máire Whelan

Mr Shatter this morning said that the AG overreacted and showed poor judgement over the recordings at Garda Stations but Mr Kenny said he didn't agree with this.

"The Attroney General was quite justified in bringing what was a very serious matter to the attention of government and to myself.

"And the findings of the Commission are that the taping of telephone calls over an extended period to many Garda Stations was illegal and unconstitutional but as I said I welcome the fact that it also found very clearly that those tapings did not interfere or compromise in any way, any case pending before the courts or before the courts.

Mr Kenny who is on a trade mission in Berlin today added: "The full Fennelly Commission and the interim report found very clearly that I as Taoiseach did not have any intention of presurising the former Commissioner and it also found very clearly that the former Commissioner decided himself to retire."

Update 10am: Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter has said the Attorney General's position is untenable after the publication of the Fennelly report.

He says AG Máire Whelan substantially overreacted and showed very poor judgement in relation to reports of phone tapping by Gardaí.

Mr Shatter resigned as Justice Minister in the wake of the revelations - but says he feels vindicated by the report, and that Fennelly shows 'astonishing' actions by the Attorney General.

Former Minister Alan Shatter says her position should be questioned.

"In any other European democracy the Attorney General's position would have been untenable after publication of the interim report," he said.

"I found her conduct around this issue quite astonishing, I think it's very serious, I think it has resulted in consequences that should never have occurred.

"Her position remains as untenable if not more today as it was at the time of the publication of the report."

Earlier: Gardaí have welcomed the finding of the Fennelly report into the recording of phone calls at Garda stations.

They say it brings clarity over the legal status of the systems that are in place, and raises issues that will be addressed as quickly as possible.

The Government says the report reinforces its decision to undertake a root-and-branch review of Gardaí.

They said: "We will work with the relevant authorities on the recommended legislation on this matter.

"There will now be a detailed examination of the report and where any organisational issues are identified they will be addressed as quickly as possible."


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