Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has called for a Commission of Investigation into alleged corrupt activities by Gardai in the Sophie Toscan Du Planiter murder investigation.
Speaking during Leaders Questions in the Dáil, Mr Adams said the difficulty in dealing with ongoing controversies in the administration of justice is that every day there are new revelations such as the taping of prisoners’ phone calls and the latest twist last night in the penalty points debacle.
“There are other distractions. While I have no confidence in Minister Shatter, I found it nauseating to listen to former Fianna Fáil Minister Willie O’Dea last night pontificating in a highly vindictive, personalised and inappropriate way about Minister Shatter.
“Fianna Fáil knows, as well as everyone else, that this phone tapping happened on their watch.
“These justice issues go back for decades and involved governments made up of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, the Progressive Democrats and Democratic left.
“So, the Oireachtas needs to keep a focus on what this is really all about. Yesterday I made the point, and you agreed with me, that the Ian Bailey case is at the root of these problems.
“This has arisen from the investigation into the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
“Ian Bailey’s solicitor wrote to Minister Shatter three times in 2012 about the refusal of the Garda Commissioner to provide information to the Garda Ombudsman.
“Incompetence to one side, this refusal, repeated a number of times, is the real reason for the lack of cohesion in the Government’s response to these scandals.
“Yesterday’s report by the Secretary General of the Department of Justice confirms this.
“He says Department officials were so preoccupied with possible ramifications about taped calls at Bandon Garda station, that they may not have realised the gravity of more widespread taping of phone calls over decades.
The Sinn Féin Leader asked the Taoiseach if he agreed that alleged corrupt activities by the Gardaí in the Sophie Toscan Du Planiter murder investigation should have been the subject of a Commission of Investigation and whether the government now initiate such a Commission of Investigation or ensure that it is part of the Commission of Investigation being set up into widespread Garda taping of phone calls.
He went on to say:
“There was a high level attempt to cover up and impede state agencies in investigating allegations made by Ian Bailey. This is worthy of a Commission of Investigation.
“In the lead-in to the Morris Tribunal, Alan Shatter tabled a motion here for the required Public Inquiry into allegations of misconduct in Donegal.
“He expressed disappointment when the Fianna Fáil Justice Minister said he was going to appoint a lawyer to examine all the relevant papers.
“At the time of the Morris report Alan Shatter said: ‘These matters should not have been left festering. The Minister for Justice kicked essentially to touch. A banana republic would not deal with an issue as serious as this in such a manner.’
“The Morris Tribunal uncovered alarming illegalities, corruption and cover-up by some members of An Garda Síochána, which does not reflect on the vast majority of Gardaí.
“Justice Morris was clear that the combination of corruption and negligence uncovered in Donegal could easily occur again.
“But the Bailey case could even be worse than the activities uncovered by Morris, because attempts to cover up evidence of wrongdoing go right to the top of the justice system. This is a matter of public record.”
Mr Adams again reiterated his call for a Commission of Investigation into the matter.