Shatter: No basis for allegation that I misled Dáil
Justice Minister Alan Shatter has denied he misled the Dáil, or was misled by the Garda Commissioner, when he said whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe had not cooperated with an inquiry into claims of misconduct in the force.
Minister Shatter made a detailed statement in the Dáil this morning responding to allegations from Fianna Fáil that he failed to act on the claims for two years.
The minister rejected the claims from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, saying information received from the whistleblower was also investigated by former Fianna Fáil justice minister Dermot Ahern, and that at all stages it was decided the claims should be dismissed.
A dossier given to Taoiseach Enda Kenny last week by Deputy Martin contains a sample of cases including murder, abduction and assault, that it is claimed were allegedly not properly investigated by gardaí.
A review of 12 allegations of garda misconduct made since 2008 is to be carried out by barrister Seán Guerin, with its full terms and conditions to be revealed today.
In today's Dáil statement Minister Shatter insisted that he did everything he could last year to move the issue forward, and he rejected the charge that he was wrong to claim last October that Sergeant McCabe hadn't co-operated with the inquiry into his claims.
"Clearly there's a difference of views and perception, between An Garda Síochána and Sgt McCabe with regard to this issue," Minister Shatter said.
"I explained the basis on which I made my statement and I can take it no further.
"However I want to make it clear - because of some public comment that has been made - that there is no basis for the suggestion that the Garda Commissioner in any way misled me in relation to this matter.
"Nor is there any basis for an allegation that I in any way misled the House."
However the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin had a robust response for Minister Shatter, saying the attempts to lay some blame at the door of the previous government had no basis.
"These attempts to distract from the serious allegations made have not worked and will not work," he said.
"You know, Minister," said Deputy Martin, addressing Minister Shatter, "that Minister Ahern, when he was in office, never got that dossier that you got.
"You did, he didn't.
"The situations are not comparable in any shape or form and yet you want to go down the road of distraction."