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Jobs Minister failed to prioritise Ansbacher statement sought by gardaí - Tóibín

16 December, 2014 - by Peadar Tóibín TD


Jobs Minister failed to prioritise Ansbacher statement sought by gardaí - Tóibín

The Sinn Féin Jobs Spokesperson said:

“It is deeply worrying that a statement detailing extremely serious allegations was left languishing in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation because it was not considered a priority.

“Jobs Minister Richard Bruton and senior officials from his department attended today’s Jobs Committee to deal with concerns regarding the resourcing of the department.

“Following recent revelations by a civil servant that the Minister had failed to deal with his witness statement regarding the Ansbacher affair sought by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation two years ago Richard Bruton cited a lack of resources as one of the reasons for the delay.

“Last month the Minister confirmed when questioned in the Dáil that the number of civil servants working in his department has been cut by 25% since 2008. 

“It emerged from today’s committee meeting that the recruitment embargo was not the only reason for the delay in progressing the witness statement, the work involved in dealing with it had been deprioritised before it had even begun.

“Despite the serious nature of the allegations contained within the 200 page statement and thousands of pages of supporting documentation the Minister and his senior officials decided that it was not worthy of allocating the necessary resources before even properly considering its contents, in effect appointing themselves judge and jury on the matter.

“So the statement sought by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation was left sitting in the department for two years until the civil servant in question clearly felt he had no other option but to seek another avenue to ensure the matter was dealt with once and for all.

“Stumbling from one crisis to the next, acting only in response to political and public duress has become this government’s M.O., and today’s admission by the Jobs Minister is further evidence of this.”

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