Taoiseach Enda Kenny taking Leaders’ Questions this afternoon
“Now, I do, I do hope, I do hope – and I want to make this clear – as Minister Zappone pointed out, that when she informed me that she had spoken to the McCabes, that the discussion that she had with them was about allegations, false allegations, made to Tusla.
“She did not indicate to me any issue of the detail of the discussion she had with the McCabe family or, indeed, the existence of any content of a file which you mention. Obviously, this was, this was, this became very public knowledge on the relevant Prime Time programme.
“And Minister Zappone is very clear, that the discussions she had with Sgt McCabe were of a confidential nature, that she had to respect his privacy, that these things were not in the public domain at the time that she, that she met with him. And I say mea culpa here. Because I did say, I’m guilty here, of, of, of not giving accurate information.
“I understood, from thinking myself that I had, perhaps 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. So, she, she is very clear that she did not tell me that she intended to meet Sgt McCabe. But she did tell her official to tell my office. So I regret that. I regret that. I regret that. I regret that… So, I didn’t actually, I didn’t actually… She didn’t tell me herself and she’s really sorry she did…She did tell me before the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday that she had met with him and they had discussed allegations that were false in respect of, given to Tusla.”
Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking in the Dáil this afternoon – in response to questions from Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.
Later, in response to questions from Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy, Mr Kenny contradicts himself:
“When you come to the house of the people, in this position, and you actually tell the truth, that you get pilloried also. There are many people who’ve been here before me who, for many years, who’ve made mistakes. I stand here and I say the information about the minister’s meeting with McCabe family, that, that I had spoken to her about that, she notified my office. My office told me of that information. And I put that in the public domain and I regret that I shouldn’t have.”
“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.”
Readers will recall how on Sunday, Enda Kenny told Colm Ó Mongáin, of RTE’s This Week, that Ms Zappone told him she intended to meet Sgt McCabe and his wife Lorraine “in a private capacity”.
Mr Kenny said:
“That’s all I knew. I said to her, ‘well, if you do have a meeting, make sure you have a thorough account of it’. So, when we had our [Cabinet] meeting on Tuesday, I wouldn’t have been aware of any of the details of her discussions.”
Asked if he asked Ms Zappone what the meeting was about, he said: “No, because she was meeting him in a private capacity which she’s entitled to do.”
Dáil proceedings are under way and can be watched live here
Previously: ‘Why Are Nine Garda Whistleblowers Out Sick?’