Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has said the government’s announcement of the appointment of a barrister to examine claims by Garda whistle-blower Maurice McCabe is an insufficient response to a crisis in public confidence in the administration of policing and justice.
He said the only credible and acceptable way to deal with the issue is to establish an independent inquiry, as provided for under the Commission for Investigations Act 2004.
Gerry Adams said:
“Last Friday I wrote to the Taoiseach, asking that him come into the Dail and make a statement on these issues. But as usual the Dáil is bypassed. Major announcements go first to the media and then, as a fait accompli to the Oireachtas.
“For the past week there has been a daily whirlwind of claim and counter-claim and the Minister for Justice has been the focus of a series of damaging allegations. Rather than clear all this up, the Government is putting the interests of the Minister above that of public confidence in the administration of the Gardai and the justice system.
“Like its reaction to the GSOC scandal, this is an entirely insufficient response to what now amounts to a crisis in public confidence in the administration of policing and justice.
“The decision today to appoint a barrister to examine the whistle-blower claims is not good enough. The only credible way and the only acceptable way to bring this chaotic episode to a conclusion, is to establish an independent inquiry, as provided for under the Commission for Investigations Act 2004.”
The Sinn Féin Leader said the latest scandals and the failure of the Minister for Justice to deal with them, was symptomatic of a poisonous political culture.
“It is a culture of cosy relationships between senior political figures and those at the top of state agencies, the civil service and big business to the detriment of the rights and welfare of citizens. The review announced by the Cabinet today and the review of documents in relation to the GSOC bugging scandal are part of the same old way of doing things, the same old culture.
“It stands in stark contrast to Fine Gael and Labour election promises of open government, transparency and accountability. Citizens are no longer prepared to accept this old, failed way of doing politics.
“That is why the government must now deal with these issues in an open, transparent and accountable way. The case for an independent inquiry under the Commission for Investigations Act 2004, is now unanswerable.”