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Local TD accuses Taoiseach of dishonesty and calls for Garda Commissioner to step down

Dublin South West Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy accused Taoiseach Enda Kenny of having a “casual relationship with the truth” during yesterdays heated Leaders Questions in the Dail.

Deputy Murphy also said Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan cannot stay in her role while an inquiry into the Maurice McCabe smear campaign takes place.

The AAA TD accused Enda Kenny of misleading the public after the Taoiseach admitted that he had provided inaccurate information in relation to his dealings with Katherine Zappone.

In response to a question from Fianna Fail Leader Micheál Martin earlier in the afternoon, Mr Kenny said he never spoke to Minister Zappone directly, prior to her meeting with the McCabes, but that their offices were in contact. He said:

“And I might say ‘mea culpa’ here, because I did say, and I’m guilty here of not giving accurate information”.

“I understood, from thinking myself, that she had asked me about meeting Sgt McCabe in the first place.”

“It actually was her office that consulted with my officials who told me.”

“She is very clear that she did not tell me that she intended to meet Sgt McCabe, she did tell her official to tell my office, so I regret that.

“She didn’t tell me herself.

“She did tell me before the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday that she had met with him and that they had discussed allegations that were false that had been given to Tusla.”

In response to one of Paul Murphy’s questions Mr Kenny then gave a different account of his contact with Minister Zappone in the lead up to the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday. He said:

“The Minister did not refer to any of the details of the discussion with the McCabes or the existence of a file in Tusla, or the information contained in that file”.

“It is not true to say that I had any information about the existence of that prior to the Cabinet meeting in Government Buildings here”.

After accusing the Taoiseach of lying, Deputy Murphy went on to the issue of the Garda Commissioner’s husband, Jim McGowan, dealing with text messages on the phones of Garda whistleblowers. He said:

“The commissioner’s husband took control of his mobile phones, upon which, allegedly, there is a text from the commissioner saying “perfect” in response to the idea that a journalist was meeting the alleged victim of Maurice McCabe. Mr Murphy asked Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

“How can the Taoiseach allow Commissioner O’Sullivan to remain in place?

“How does he know that she will not use her position to obstruct the inquiry?

“The questions that Maurice McCabe has posed do not need a tribunal.

“Mr McCabe has posed six simple questions that the Government and the ministers can get answers to from the Commissioner, Tusla, and the HSE.

“When will Mr McCabe have answers to those questions?”

A tribunal of inquiry, to sit in public, will be held to determine whether there was a smear campaign against Sergeant Maurice McCabe and whether it was orchestrated by high ranking members of An Garda Siochana.