Shatter tells Dáil he did not see Callinan's letter until yesterday

The Justice Minister Alan Shatter has made a statement in the Dáil on illegal taping claims at Waterford Garda Station.

Mr Shatter says the fact that recording of phone calls in Garda stations was in place, and for so long, is of serious concern.

He has addressed the Dáil after Cabinet decided to establish a Commission of Investigation into the matter.

He says he is constrained by the fact a civil case is before the courts and that his Department was made aware of this incident in one Garda station on February 28 last.

But he says he didn't see a letter from former Commissioner Callinan on the extent of the issue, sent on March 10, until 12.40pm yesterday afternoon.

Here are some of the things the Minister has said in his statement:

" I am greatly constrained in what I can say. Need to establish the facts before we draw any firm conclusions."

Shatter on letter from Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan: "This letter was not furnished to me until 12.40pm yesterday."

"I am advised that my departmental officials were made aware of recordings on 28 Feb by Gardaí and Chief State Solicitor’s Office."

"NICE brand recorders installed in 2008. Callinan said in letter all recording of non-999 calls should stop."

"Day after receipt of letter on 10 March there was meeting between commissioner, dept officials and AG officials"

"I did not hear about this matter until 6pm on Monday"

"I was not aware of GSOC report from last year - was not brought to my Department's attention."

"No Deputy in this House regarded the publication of sufficient importance to table a Dail question on it."

"I am making no criticism of GSOC."

"It would be refreshing if members opposite could refrain from making usual political attacks."

"I don't know whether my predecessor in this office or any member of the previous government was any more aware of these recordings

"I don’t think that any reasonable person could claim with any credibility that there has been any inaction on my part

"We have been unflinching in our determination to face up to past difficulties."

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