herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Kenny now has 'duty' to correct Dail record, says Shatter

Alan Shatter
Alan Shatter
Enda Kenny

Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter has demanded that Taoiseach Enda Kenny correct the Dail record following the publication of Justice Kevin O'Higgins' report on allegations of garda misconduct.

Mr Shatter said that Mr Kenny now has a "duty" to correct the record after the report found he acted appropriately in his dealings with garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

He said Mr Kenny "entirely ignored" concerns he raised about a scoping exercise by barrister Sean Guerin - the findings of which led to the establishment of O'Higgins' Commission of Investigation, and, ultimately, Mr Shatter's resignation.

Disputed

"Both in my engagements with the Taoiseach and in the Dail Chamber, I disputed his findings against me," Mr Shatter said.

"My concerns were entirely ignored by the Taoiseach, and my Dail contribution was not only ignored by all sides in the Dail Chamber, including the Minister for Justice, but also ridiculed and criticised by some commentators."

Justice minister Frances Fitzgerald refused to apologise to Mr Shatter or former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan yesterday after the long-awaited report was released.

"Obviously, when you look back at that period in relation to both the resignation of minister Alan Shatter and the retirement of the Commissioner - what's very clear at that point is that the criminal justice system was engulfed in a series of controversies, some of which are examined in this report here today and led to a situation," she said.

Ms Fitzgerald added the Government "fully accepts the report's findings" and she was glad the two had been found to have done their jobs properly.

Mr Justice Kevin O'Higgins was asked to examine serious failures in criminal investigations in the Cavan-Monaghan region between 2007 and 2008.

Victims

The report identified failings in eight garda investigations and problems with garda management. The O'Higgins Report also stated that victims of crime were let down by GSOC.

One woman, Sylvia Roche-Kelly, was murdered by Jerry McGrath in December 2007 while he was on bail.

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