The full unabridged email that may bring down the current government.

Michael Flahive, of the Department of Justice, sent this to Tanaiste and former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald’s private secretary Christopher Quattrociocchi on May 15, 2015, which was subsequently sent to her.

Ms Fitzgerald has said she can’t recall receiving the email.

In it, Mr Flahive says he received a call from Richard Barrett, of the Attorney General’s office, and that, according to Mr Barrett, a row had taken place at the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation between the legal counsel for Sgt Maurice McCabe and the former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.

Mr Flahive claims Mr Barrett told him the row occurred because the counsel for Ms O’Sullivan wanted to introduce a complaint that the 2006 investigation into Ms D’s ‘dry humping’ allegation against Sgt McCabe wasn’t investigated properly.

Mr Flahive outlined that Michael McDowell, SC for Sgt McCabe, objected to this being raised and asked if Ms O’Sullivan had authorised the argument that this claim was relevant to Sgt McCabe’s motivation.

Mr Flahive explained that Mr Barrett said Ms O’Sullivan had authorised this approach.

On Tuesday night, Sgt McCabe told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar the alleged events outlined in this email never happened.

Readers should recall Ms Fitzgerald, in May 2015, received a lengthy report from GSOC in which it stated the 2006 investigation was carried out correctly.

That GSOC investigation followed a complaint made by Ms D, which was discussed at the Disclosures Tribunal when Irish Independent journalist Paul Williams gave evidence.

When Ms D gave a statement to GSOC, on July 3, 2014, Ms D told GSOC Mr Williams told her senior members of An Garda Siochana and Government were aware of her allegations.

When asked about this, Mr Williams said it was a “throwaway remark” that the then head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor said to him and that he later relayed it to Ms D.

Related: ‘This Is About A Failure To Stand By Maurice McCabe’ 

Derek Mooney: What Happened

Previously: Absence Of Malice

In DPP Trouble

Disclosures, Discrepancies And Paul Williams

28 thoughts on “Unredacted

  1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    “The Garda Commissioner’s authorisation had been confirmed…”

    There you go. Red flag? Nah. Read and delete from mind. Nothing to see here. LA LA LA.

    Reply
  2. MKG985

    This email won’t change the positions of any side. Publishing it doesn’t offer any new news. It just confirms the idiocy of the opposition and the incompetence of the government.

    Reply
  3. Brother Barnabas

    The really mind-boggling aspect of this is that Fitzgerald and her private secretary Chris Quattrociocchi have both been here before.

    Go back around three years ago to the abortion controversy involving HSE’s refusal to allow a teenage (I think) asylum seeker, who had been raped before arriving to claim asylum here, to have an abortion.

    Fitzgerald later denied knowing anything about it, but email records subsequently showed she did – and had replied asking to be kept informed of any developments.

    She has a serious issue either with memory lapses or lying.

    Reply
        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          He still had to click on it to read it. I’m cute like that.
          Oh hang on, I’m not that cute. The clue is in the url.

          Reply
  4. Catherine costelloe

    Is that why Mr Shatter was ousted? Because he would have objected to this strategy?
    Wasn’t he ousted over a letter marked ” urgent” on illegal calls to garda stations that he said never reached him?

    Reply
  5. David McCarthy

    It is good that we have sight of the full email.
    A few thoughts: if I were the minister getting this after 5.00 on a Friday evening, I would expect my private secretary to be all over it on Monday morning, ensuring that A. I had read it, and B. that I was crystal clear about the explosive implications of it.
    This stinks of one of two possibilities: it seems to be either a hospital pass given by some Sir Humphrey type covering his tail end, or evidence of a minister and her senior staff so complicit in the dirty business of burying McCabe that she did not bat an eyelid when she read it.
    If there were a more innocent explanation, I suspect we would have heard of it by now.
    But, this is all detail in the morass that this government is glooping around in. It doesn’t matter that this spark is what lights the fire under them. I am sorry for Frances Fitzgerald because my impression of her is that she has always been a positive force in Irish public life. My suspicion is that she inherited from Alan Shatter a systemic and cultural dirty bomb that she did not have the ability to clean up, and that she may have been managed or bullied by departmental mandarins to leave well enough alone, while they managed McCabe’s elimination.

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      1. Catherine costelloe

        I have no sympathy whatsoever for an incompetent Frances Fitzgerald. As there are no answers forthcoming perhaps Alan Shatter was dismissed as he would not have allowed this at the o Higgins?
        After all, he was calling for a judicial enquiry into the death of Shane o Farrell……Frances Fitzgerald took over his job and scrapped it . An absolute disgrace.

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        1. Catherine costelloe

          Did she scrap it because it was the same senior garda involved in Shane’s case and Maurice Mc Cabe? GSOC dealing with Lucia o Farrell’s dozens of factual complaints for 7 years and no end in sight. Shocking disrespect shown to this lovely young mans family by Frances Fitzgerald.

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    1. The Dub

      It has struck me that the senior staff in Dept of Justice have a lot to answer to. Not only over this matter but previous ones involving Mr Shatter.

      Reply
  6. Frank

    It’s hard for the public to make up their minds about what is happening given how the media dramatise the events they are describing. This was evident in the reporting by Katie Hannon, for example, and it’s also evident in this article, which twice mentions a “row” at the tribunal, but the text of the email does not give me that impression. It merely says Sgt. McCabe’s counsel “objected” to the Garda counsel’s approach and asked whether the Commissioner had authorised it. Anyone who has ever seen a TV courtroom drama knows the word “objection” has a more nuanced meaning in legal circles than it has in everyday life, and that it can be anything from a pedantic correction to a massive argument, but the media have decided for us where on that scale this particular objection lay.

    The email is significant now because of events that came to light long after it was sent, and because the media have reported it in a certain way, but the way the email is worded I don’t think Frances Fitzgerald reading it at the time could have known this and therefore, taking into account the amount of stuff a minister inevitably has to read, I think her explanation that she didn’t remember it, either in May 2016 or last week, is reasonable.

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    1. Catherine costelloe

      It was proper order to ” object” on the Friday afternoon to Noirin o Sullivan legal team. They were stating that they would be introducing evidence questioning the motivation, credibility and integrity of Maurice on the Monday proceedings. Hence Maurice’s legal team said we have had no notification of this, we want it in writing for Monday. Maurice went rooting in his attic over the w/e for voice recordings of previous meetings with senior officers. The written statements by a Chief Supt, a Supt, a Sergeant, a solicitor from the State Dept had to be withdrawn because Maurice’s recording proved that they were telling lies. Now, I would be very confident Minister of Justice Frances Fitzgerald would have been notified of this bombshell that very Monday!!!! If she is as clueless as she says she is, isn’t it strange she got that email on the Friday on ” tactics” to be used on the Monday, only for “tactics” to be torpedoed out of the water!! This was no knife in the back, its a knife dead centre to the disgusting “justice” system.

      Reply
      1. Frank

        Catherine, I agree Maurice McCabe’s legal team were entitled to object and we now know they did so along the lines you describe. And I agree it would be unthinkable for the minister not to have been informed when the recordings torpedoed the Garda case on the following Monday. However, none of this was obvious from the email written the previous Friday evening. There is nothing in it to indicate how vehement the objection was and obviously it could not predict what was to happen on the Monday. In fact it says she can’t take any action and that the Garda strategy is subject to further legal advice (I can’t quote it verbatim because it has disappeared from this post). That’s why I think Frances Fitzgerald’s explanation that she doesn’t remember getting that email is at least plausible.

        It’s annoying to see this issue being made into a political football and the media are as much to blame as politicians. I wouldn’t in any way make little of what Maurice McCabe has suffered, but he has already been vindicated in the court of public opinion and I’m sure he will be further vindicated by the Charleton tribunal. It would be ridiculous to put the whole country through an election and the instability it would cause at a time when there are massive issues to be faced in homelessness, health, Brexit, Northern Ireland, and much more.

        Reply
  7. Gerard

    I start by saying I have only been following this story from a distance and I don’t claim to have any in depth knowledge of it. The observation I make is not the content of the email but the thought process which is behind it and it’s sender’s. At 16;57;24, an email is sent from Mr Flahive to Chris Q.It is also cc to others. It is received, read, processed and evaluated and then resent to others in six minutes and thirty four seconds. Chris Q sends it to three people, the last of which is Frances Fitzgerald, his boss.
    It may be nothing, but unless Mr Flahive and Chris Q had already discussed this subject at length prior to the email being sent, how possibly could Chis have received evaluated and then resent to others in six minutes and thirty four seconds. If it was important one would imagine that the first name in Chris senders lost would be Frances Fitzgerald. Three questions.
    Where was Mr Flahive when he sent the email. Where was Chris Q at the time. And most importantly, where was Frances Fitzgerald, seeing that she was number three on the list of recipients, maybe all or some of them were in the same room.
    There’s something rotten in the state of…..

    Reply
    1. David McCarthy

      Well observed Gerard.
      Another thing that seems apparent to me after reading the email with morning eyes is how little explanation there is. In order to understand it, I think any reader would already have to be familiar with the subject matter.

      Reply

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