Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has said the barrister-led inquiry into why crucial emails were not sent by the Department of Justice to the Charleton Tribunal must be comprehensive and must provide straight answers to the many outstanding questions.
Deputy Shortall said:
“I welcome the appointment tonight of senior counsel Michael Collins to lead an inquiry into why the Department of Justice did not handle crucial documents appropriately, and why they were not sent to the Disclosures Tribunal.
“There are still far too many unanswered questions about the Department’s compliance, and how it conducted its trawl of emails. These emails revealed to the former Tánaiste details of the then Garda Commissioners’ legal strategy against whistleblower Sergeant McCabe.
“It is vital that Mr Collins is given full cooperation and support from the Department of Justice and Equality, to allow him to get to the bottom of these issues promptly and efficiently.
The inquiry needs to provide a full and comprehensive response to the many outstanding unanswered questions about this affair, including the following:
- Details of the discovery orders made by the Disclosures Tribunal to the Department of Justice, an assessment of the extent to which these have been complied with, and an explanation for non-compliance where that was the case.
- A full explanation of the circumstances which led to the disappearance of two crucial pages of transcripts from the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation.
- All of the circumstances and events which led to the failure of department officials to search the email accounts of the former Minister for Justice and her advisers in respect of the legal strategy of the Garda Commissioner.