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Justice Minister should be relieved of his duties - McDonald

19 February, 2014 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Following the announcement in the Dáil this morning by the Taoiseach that the Garda Confidential Recipient has been sacked Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD said the time has come for the Justice Minister to be relieved of his duties.

The Dublin Central TD said:

“When the two Garda Whistleblowers brought the penalty point scandal into the public domain, having been frustrated in their efforts to have matter properly dealt with internally, Justice Minister’s first instinct was to rubbish the two men, and he did so publicly.

“There is no doubt damage has been done to An Garda Síochána and the chief author of this damage is the Minister for Justice himself. Yet this is the man the government intends to task with setting the terms of reference for an independent inquiry into the alleged bugging of the Garda watchdog office,

“Just hours after the government announced its intention to instigate an inquiry into the bugging of GSOC’s office the Justice Minister landed into the Dáil to say there is no evidence of surveillance.

“At every turn throughout the Whistleblower and GSOC debacles Alan Shatter has failed to take the correct action. He has not acted impartially and it is time now for the Justice Minister to be relieved of his duties.

“All of the evidence clearly indicates that the government has little interest in effective systems of oversight or governance. By its inaction the government has been complicit in the undermining of the Garda whistleblowers and GSOC.

“If the Government is serious about restoring public confidence then it has no option but establish a fully resourced independent inquiry as provided for under the Commissions of Investigations Act 2004.”

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