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Naïve ministerial appointment undermines independent position of whistleblower liaison for the gardaí – O’Brien

16 June, 2011 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Commenting from Leinster House today regarding the controversial appointment by Minister Alan Shatter, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson, Jonathan O’Brien TD said:

“The question is not in relation to the pros and cons around Oliver Connolly, but rather the naiveté of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence in appointing someone who gave him money to the position of whistleblower liaison for the gardaí. Oliver Connolly also has a company, Friary Law which provided training to Mr Shatter.

“This appointment is something that Mr Shatter would have called typical “jobs for the boys” cronyism if had been carried out under the previous Fianna Fáil administration.

“The real issue for Sinn Féin is that the position of whistleblower liaison for the gardaí has to be, and also has to be perceived as, above reproach and independent of political parties and particularly of governmental influence.

“People already have a poor perception of politics in this state, so we cannot afford any more of these incidents of cronyism to damage public confidence further.”

“Minister Shatter has to explain how many other candidates were considered and to explain the selection process which led to the appointment.

“The review of this process needs to be carried out as soon as possible so this issue can be put to bed.”

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