Last night on RTÉ’s Late Debate, the Sunday Times Security Correspondent John Mooney – who broke the GSOC bugging story – spoke to presenter Audrey Carville about Justice Minister Alan Shatter’s resignation.
Audrey Carville: “John Mooney, you’re puzzled by Alan Shatter’s resignation, why?”
John Mooney: “I’m very reluctant to believe anything that I’m being told about these matters because none of it makes sense and you can’t take. You can’t forget the events that have preceded this and what’s been happening, really since Alan Shatter came to power and if I can just maybe take you through various controversies. You have the Garda collusion matter regarding Kieran Boylan colluding with drug trafficker. Alan Shatter got a huge report on that, took no action on that. The Labour party and Fine Gael supported them in that. Anyone who has the remotest knowledge of that particular affair would have been left absolutely stunned and hence, there was a feeling developed, of confidence, in Garda headquarters that you could do whatever you wanted and nothing’s going to happen to you. So that’s the first thing. Secondly you had the GSOC bugging affair.
That investigation was established before the Guerin one but hasn’t reported – that’s a bit odd. You had the penalty points issue, where Alan Shatter, as we all remember stood on the plinth outside the Dáil, and I’ve said this on this programme and Prime Time and others and berated the two whistleblowers, regardless of whether they were wrong or right and basically accused them of wrongdoing. Then we had the charade that happened concerning the investigation by John O’Mahony into those issues. Subsequently that was shown to be, I mean, worthless. Now John O’Mahony is the Assistant Garda Commissioner in charge of crime and security – he’s in charge of our national security. It doesn’t get much higher than that in Garda headquarters.
Still, no action whatsoever from the Government in relation to this matter. Then you have the allegations made by Maurice McCabe, concerning, which are the subject of the Guerin report, which are very specific allegations and, again, that was passed to Enda Kenny because Alan Shatter wasn’t seen to be someone who could be trusted to deal with this. Now, it should be stated, at every point in this, Labour and Fine Gael have fully supported Alan Shatter – even when the facts were screaming from the rooftops. This is not a matter of the Government arranging investigations that have exposed weaknesses or flaws. The Government [have] done their damndest to cover for this and cover up this type of activity and, indeed, suppress any information coming out in relation to it, so it’s very important that people understand this.”
Carville: “Are you saying you don’t buy that he’s resigining over the Guerin…”
Mooney: “I’m very wary of everything that is being said in relation to these matters. For the simple reason is, is that then Government has been playing ducks and drakes in regards to the truth of these matters for so long that I don’t think they understand the truth, or can decipher from the lies that have been told. For example, this letter which is Alan Shatter’s resignation letter, apparently on the basis of what’s likely to emerge in the Guerin report, it’s very, very odd, in so far that it comes across to me as a letter that was written almost after someone had been told they have to go or else they’ll be dismissed. Because, the first thing it does, is it drags in the Garda Ombudsman yet again, said that it had not cooperated…”
Mooney: “Yeah..with the Guerin inquiry into these matters and hadn’t furnished it with, Seán Guerin, with the papers relating to this matter. The most incredible thing about this is GSOC tonight have confirmed that that’s the case, that they didn’t actually provide Guerin with the documents in relation to this, citing privacy and other reasons. So you’re into this kind of very, very odd, sort of wordplay on this. I’m not sure, I think, if you…I’ll go back to the question I raised before. Martin Callinan resigned or retired, whatever word you want to use, a number of weeks ago, for reasons that are unclear. Now Alan Shatter is after resigning, again, or whether he was pushed , for reasons that are very unclear.
The tone of this letter isn’t one of abject apology to John Wilson or people like that. It’s more, it’s creating more questions almost to what it answers and I’d just be very, very cautious. There are things, matters going on in the background to these issues, in Garda headquarters and in the Department of Justice, and in the Department of An Taoiseach that I don’t think the public are aware of yet.”
Listen back in full here
Previously: Holy Shatt