Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson Niall Collins TD has called on the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to explain why her party colleague Alan Shatter TD received the draft terms of reference for the Guerin Inquiry a full month before they were shared with party leaders in the Oireachtas.
Deputy Collins commented, “Now that the correspondence behind the recent Dáil debate shambles has been released, a further serious question arises about how this was handled by Government.
“The draft terms of reference were sent to Deputy Alan Shatter’s representatives on 21st November for his information and review. However, the first time that anything was shared with the leaders of the political parties in the Oireachtas, which is actually responsible for establishing the inquiry, was 19th December, the day after the House rose for Christmas recess.
“Before receiving this correspondence, it was obvious that the Government’s decision to release the terms of reference to the Dáil after the House had risen was cynical. After studying it, a much more troubling question arises – why was one of the key individuals at the heart of the investigation given the material to study and suggest changes a month before the institution responsible for establishing that inquiry?
“The fact that any debate on these same terms of reference was subsequently blocked makes a full and speedy answer to this question even more important.”