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Taoiseach directing Strategic Communications Unit from private email is a serious issue - Pearse Doherty TD

25 March, 2018 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin’s Dáil Deputy Leader Pearse Doherty has said confirmation from the Taoiseach’s office that he used his private email to communicate with officials from the Strategic Communications Unit and his Department is a serious issue.

Speaking this morning after the Sunday Business Post reported the story Teachta Doherty said;

“Emails regarding the Strategic Communications Unit, which were released under Freedom of Information, have the Taoiseach’s email address redacted.

“These included emails from An Taoiseach to officials from the Strategic Communications Unit and his Department and emails from them to him.

“In these emails An Taoiseach discusses future campaigns and strategy including the suggestion that the government should take credit for initiatives rather than specific departments.

“Confirmation from the Department of An Taoiseach that the Taoiseach was using his private email address in these communications is a very serious matter.

“This runs contrary to the policy of the department for the simple reason that private email addresses do not fall under the Freedom of Information legislation.

“Furthermore, I believe the Taoiseach, or his advisors, are aware that this is a serious issue.  Why else would the email be redacted in the files released under FOI.

“An Taoiseach now needs to clarify why he was using his private email address and if he has used his private address for any other official business.

“He should also accept the will of the Dáil, scrap the Strategic Communications Unit and appear before the Public Accounts Committee to account for the money spent on the unit.”

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