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Case for the defence for Fitzgerald has utterly collapsed, documents prove it is time to go – Ó Laoghaire

27 November, 2017 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has responded to the release of additional documentation regarding Maurice McCabe and the O’Higgins Commission from the Department of Justice tonight, saying that that these documents dispelled any lingering doubts on the Tánaiste’s knowledge of the Legal Strategy.

The Cork South-Central TD said:

“These documents are further evidence of the Tánaiste’s failings in addressing very serious issue, and her failure to protect Maurice McCabe from an appalling smear.

“The case for the defence for Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has been unravelling for days. It has now collapsed.

“At first, the attempt to say she discovered after the fact. This was disproven.

“Then, to try and say that it was an email of such little significance that she could not recall and no action was required anyway. This was discredited.

“She has tried to say there was nothing she could do anyway; this has been comprehensively rebutted.

“Now, in tonight’s dramatic extraordinary revelations, it emerged that she received three emails, including questions from the Press and advice on how to respond to them. It was never credible to say she was unaware of the email or couldn’t recall – but it is utterly incredible now.

“We have also seen that Tánaiste was aware of, and noted the original email, and was told of another conversation between the Commissioner and officials in her Department, in relation to a media enquiry; utterly undermining her claim to be unaware.

“In addition, the Tánaiste said that she received legal advice from the Attorney General that she could not intervene in the legal strategy of the former Garda Commissioner. As of earlier today, we now know this not to be the case.

“The Tánaiste, and indeed the Taoiseach, has given misleading and inaccurate statements to the Dáil, the Media and the public for several days now.

“From no email, to one email, to three emails, and a record of one being read.

“One claim after another has proven to be false, and excuses have dried up.

“There are serious questions for the Taoiseach here as well. He continued to back the Tánaiste to the hilt publicly, despite having this information from Friday, and lashed out at those raises legitimate questions; he should explain why he did so.

“It is well past the time for the Tánaiste to resign; there is no more room for argument.” 

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