Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has called on the Minister for Justice to come into the Dáil and make a statement on revelations by the Taoiseach in the Dail today that conversations between dozens of prisoners and their solicitors were recorded without their knowledge.
Speaking earlier in the Dáil the Sinn Fein Leader said that, at the root of the current controversies involving the Gardai and the administration of justice, is the Ian Bailey case.
He said there was an attempt to impede state agencies from investigating allegations made by Ian Bailey.
Speaking to the Taoiseach Gerry Adams said:
“While you have said that the Minister for Justice did not cause the current crisis, it was the manner in which he has responded to it that marked him out as unsuitable for the office.”
He said the Government had responded to the crisis with amazing inefficiency and lack of cohesion pointing to the manner in which the Tanaiste had been sidelined.
Mr Adams said that Ian Bailey had written to the Taoiseach in February about his case.
“He asserted that he wrote to Minister Shatter in 2012 about delays in a GSOC investigation caused by the Garda Commissioner’s refusal to provide requested material to the investigating team.
“The Bailey case is the real context for the ongoing scandal. People may or may not have known the degree of illegal phone recording that was going on. But the Commissioner knew, it’s a matter of public record that he did not co-operate with GSOC. The Justice Minister knew. The Attorney General knew. And the Department of Justice knew.”
The Attorney General only raised the taping of phone calls to and from Garda stations when Mr Kenny called her about an entirely unrelated matter, adding that the Taoiseach then did not get in touch with the Minister for Justice for 24 hours and that there was no word at all of the Taoiseach consulting with the Tanaiste.
“While we discuss these matters out, the state is currently fighting a civil action taken by Ian Bailey and his partner, Jules Thomas despite serious concerns of Garda activities which are similar to those revealed in the Morris Tribunal.
“There is another related matter - the potentially tainted Garda investigation files in the Bailey case that were handed over to the French authorities. So, there is now an international dimension to this.
“The reason why various arms of Government are now working against each other is that at the heart of the Government, and at its core the Minister for Justice, is an attempt to cover up and to impede other government and state agencies from investigating the allegations made by Ian Bailey and that’s a reason why the Minister should go.”
Mr Adams called on the Minister for Justice to use time in the Dail this evening to clarify his role in all of these matters.