Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has welcomed the Taoiseach’s apology to Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe. The Taoiseach was responding to Gerry Adams’ call for him to apologise on behalf of the Government to Sergeant McCabe over his treatment.
The Sinn Féin Leader accused the Government of not having the instinct for the type of root-and-branch reform required to deliver a new beginning in policing.
Speaking during Leaders Questions in the Dail today Gerry Adams said:
“Taoiseach, following publication of the Guerin report, you spoke of the need for a ‘root-and-branch analysis’ of the administration of justice. Is this the same justice system that you have spent months defending here in the Dáil? And attacking the Opposition for asking entirely legitimate questions?
“In March you assured the Dáil, in response to questions from me, that Minister Shatter was doing a great job reforming the justice system. You strongly rejected suggestions that the Minister should resign in the face of the mounting scandals. You adopted the same attitude in relation to the Garda Commissioner before he had to go.You bear direct responsibility for what has happened. Alan Shatter was not on his own.
“The Guerin report highlights serious, major and fundamental problems at the heart of An Garda Síochána and the Department of Justice. Citizens right across this state are shocked by its findings. The report clearly vindicates Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe. He and his colleague former Garda John Wilson have performed a huge service to the state in highlighting serious problems at the heart of An Garda Síochana.
“Maurice McCabe should now be allowed to get on with his normal Garda duties. I wrote to the acting Garda Commissioner last week to request that access to the Garda Pulse system be restored to Sgt McCabe and I welcome the fact that that has now happened.
“Taoiseach, will you now, on behalf of the State and the Government, apologise to Sergeant Maurice McCabe for the treatment he has been subjected to for doing his duty?”
In response, the Taoiseach said that he had no problem apologising to Sergeant McCabe.
The Sinn Féin Leader said there had been an understandable focus on those who lost their jobs as various justice scandals unfolded but the real victims were ordinary citizens whose rights were undermined.
Addressing the Taoiseach directly, Mr Adams said:
“You fully supported the former Justice Minister and failed to recognise the gravity of what was at stake. You ignored, dismissed and ridiculed warnings from Sinn Féin and others about the way your Government was reacting to these serious issues.”
He said there is no evidence of any energy, instinct or interest from the Government for the type of root-and-branch reform required for a new beginning to policing.