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If McDowell refuses to resign Taoiseach should sack him - Ó Snodaigh

13 December, 2005


Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has again called on the Minister for Justice Michael McDowell to resign over the leaking of confidential documents to Independent Newspapers. During a heated debate in the Dáil this afternoon Deputy Ó Snodaigh said if McDowell does not resign “the Taoiseach has a duty to sack him.”

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said,“I charge that the Minister has acted as judge and jury against a private citizen.  He has violated Articles 38 and 40 of the Constitution, which provide that no citizen shall be tried, save in due course of law, and that all citizens shall be held equal before the law.  In what way was the security of this State threatened in the last few weeks?  How exactly did the Minister envisage that giving confidential Garda files to a newspaper would address that supposed threat and advance democracy and the security of this State?  He has failed in his opening remarks to explain exactly how due process was safeguarded or even observed by his actions.  Does he believe in the presumption that someone is innocent unless proven guilty?

“The Minister must state how many other requests from Independent Newspapers for confidential Garda information have resulted in his leaking material to the media.  Is he the ‘Garda source’ so often reported in the tabloids?  The Minister has breached the spirit of his own Garda Síochána Act 2005 by disclosing confidential Garda information. The criminal offence is punishable by five years' imprisonment.  I call on him to resign.  If he does not, the Taoiseach has a duty to sack him.” ENDS

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