Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson Niall Collins TD has responded to today’s statement from former Garda Confidential Recipient Oliver Connolly, repeating his invitation to Mr Connolly to come before the Justice Committee to answer questions about his role.
Deputy Collins said, “While I understand Mr Connolly’s unhappiness that his comments were recorded and came into the public domain, I cannot accept his analysis that they do not now merit public discussion. The decision of whistleblower Maurice McCabe to record a conversation is something that can only be explained by Sgt McCabe himself.
“Two simple questions faced Fianna Fáil when we became aware of this transcript after it was first put on the public record by another Dáil deputy. The first question was whether it was authentic. Having satisfied ourselves on this issue, the next question was whether discussion of the claims made within it was in the public interest.
“I believe that any objective and fair analysis would agree that the office of the confidential recipient warning a garda whistleblower that the Minister for Justice would target him if his claims were made public, is a very serious matter and warrants proper discussion and examination. Given their unexplained decision to remove Mr Connolly from his position, it would appear that this view is shared by the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice.
“I believe the Justice Committee is the proper place where issues such as this can be discussed in detail. The Committee would benefit from Mr Connolly’s unique experience and viewpoint and I would again invite him to attend to explain the comments in the transcript, to tell us why he said what he said about Alan Shatter and to talk to the Oireachtas about his performance in his role as Confidential Recipient”.