Tag Archives: Shatter


John Mooney, security correspondent of The Sunday Times

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission released a statement yesterday saying its investigation into the leak of the GSOC ‘bugging’ story to John Mooney, of The Sunday Times, yielded no result.

Of the investigation, led by Mark Connaughton SC, GSOC found:

The report was unable to establish individual responsibility for any disclosure, either on the part of an employee of GSOC or any other party. It concludes that it is difficult to identify what additional information could usefully advance matters, short of obtaining the co-operation of the journalist in question, who declined the invitation.

Further to this, Mr Mooney was interviewed on RTÉ One’s Today With Seán O’Rourke show this morning.

From the interview:

Seán O’Rourke: “The Cooke Report looked at the bugging and it basically dismissed, I think in large measure, a lot of what was suggested by GSOC, about the bugging, whether it happened and so forth.”

Mooney: “But, you could say that, but the one thing I would say about the Cooke Report is that it made no reference to the background to all of this which was, I was just astonished with. I think it also, he, Judge Cooke has subsequently amended the report twice. He misquoted, The Sunday Times wrote a letter to state, the admission that he’d done that. He subsequently amended it a second time in relation to claims that he made about an individual who had communicated with him. But, if you look at the report, Verrimus, the company that did the security audit on GSOC maintain and stand over their findings. I’m not technically qualified in this area to say whether they’re right or wrong but if you talk to them now, they will say they were right. And, in terms of Cooke, and I kind of don’t like to become a player in these things, I would maybe defer to other impartial observers on it. They stated that he showed a remarkable lack of curiosity about some of the findings that he made. For example, he talks about white vans being outside, the Garda Ombudsman’s office, they gave him quite extensive interviews about why they believed they were under surveillance, leaving aside the technical stuff that they had uncovered…”

O’Rourke: “Yes, the core of the thing was, I think or one of the strong elements at least, that there was equipment being used that was only available to State security services. Now that seems to have been largely dismissed.”

Mooney: “What we had actually said, in our original story, is that Government-level technology, which it was. He says that you can buy IMSI catchers but I’ve spoken to a lot of people around the world about this type of technology and those sort of devices really are dependent on the network, whether it’s a 3G or 4G network and all that sort of stuff, so…”

O’Rourke: “Right, John, coming back to this finding now, it seems to have hit a dead end. Seven suspects. Apparently the leaker had to be one of those seven people. They can’t identify who it was, so surely they’re seriously undermined, their credibility is undermined because anybody thinking of having any relations with them or any dealings with them has to be asking him or herself, ‘well, look where is this going to end up, will it be on the front page of The Sunday Times?'”

Mooney: “Well, I’d hope so. My attitude on that is that, how would I put this?…journalists have a job to do. And, in my particular line of work, where we’re dealing with the heavier end of matters, we go to extraordinary lengths to protect people, there’s lots of different…”

O’Rourke: “That’s true, John..”

Mooney: ‘There’s lots of different issues that I, for example, I have not chosen to publish out of national security reasons, where there would be representatives and representations made to us by Garda headquarters, whatever. But we publish a lot of information, we’ve had lots of reports, really since the beginning of the year that were confidential and Government reports on all sorts of matters that have been published and we have quoted word-for-word in the paper. My attitude to this is that, for some reason, people have zoned in on information that we have concerning the activities of the Garda Ombudsman but, I mean, we published the Roma report a couple of weeks ago, we published another GSOC report about a shooting fatality in Lucan which was quite serious, three or four weeks ago…”

O’Rourke: “Yes, but surely an agency like that, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission should be able to carry out its business and give people assurances that, if they cooperate and if they give information, it will not go any further. Now they’re clearly in no position to do that. You just listed a litany of reports that you’ve published. And, fair play to you, that’s your job, right? But you put yourself in a position of somebody who’s been asked to cooperate with that. That agency’s credibility is shot surely?

Mooney: “Well I wouldn’t agree with that assumption because we publish a lot of stories on the basis of very sensitive information that we get from all sorts of agencies. That’s what journalists do. And investigative journalism, that’s what it involves. The only thing that I’m concerned about is producing information that is in the public interest and protecting…”

Talk over each other

O’Rourke: “You can’t be accused of anything, other than doing your job. And that’s accepted but a lot of heads have rolled I suppose in the justice area, apparently as a result of this bugging controversy and other stuff that’s happened. Now Alan Shatter certainly feels aggrieved and he’s actually gone to the High Court so we better be a little bit careful about what we say about the fact that he wasn’t interviewed by Mr Cooke – sorry, sorry, I beg your pardon, by Guerin, I beg your pardon. There’s so many reports, it’s easy to get them confused. But, at the same time though, like do you feel that maybe he, Shatter, and Martin Callinan, to a certain extent, have a right to feel aggrieved at this stage?”

Mooney: “I think Martin Callinan has a right to feel aggrieved over what happened to him which is subject to an investigation by Justice Fennelly. We’ve been highlighting the issues, the constitutional issues, that are raised as a result of the manner in which he was forced to resign. In terms of Alan Shatter, Alan Shatter has some very valid points about Guerin which, I think in time, is going to be shown to be a very flawed report. I think the findings that are made against some senior gardaí are completely flawed and wrong, but in stating that, it should be stated that Alan Shatter mishandled and did the wrong thing in various matters in the Justice portfolio. This isn’t just about GSOC or anything else. This is in relation to whistleblowers and other matters. I think any position that he finds himself now in really is one of his own making. In relation to Marin Callinan, I think Martin Callinan was forced into a position that I think is going to be called into question in a major way quite shortly by Justice Fennelly, that’s an independent reading of it. But, in stating that, Martin Callinan, and people are forgetting this, Martin Callinan was in charge of the guards when there was huge obstruction placed in front of the Garda Ombudsman which is a properly constituted body within this country and he was responsible for that. So, while he may have went for something…”

O’Rourke: “They had it out publicly and privately about the levels of cooperation. Look we’ll leave it there…”

Listen back in full here

Report of a fact-finding investigation into the possible disclosure of confidential information from within GSOC (GSOC)

Previously: ‘They’ve Done Their Damndest To Cover Up’

The Thin Blue Timeline [Updated]

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 11.44.04

Why can’t Enda Kenny, Alan Shatter, Martin Callinan, Brian Purcell and any other person appointed to or holding public office appear before a Dáil committee to answer in public reasonable questions put by the people’s elected representatives on matters of public interest in connection with how they discharged their duties?
It is ludicrous for Enda Kenny to refuse to answer a question where he has a specific and definite involvement because he has appointed a judge to ask him that question at some time in the future. – Yours, etc,

Hugh Pierce
Newtown Road,
Celbridge ,
Co Kildare.

Irish Times Letters

Photocall Ireland

90301674How did he know?

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said he received information about the gardaí using their discretion regarding an incident involving Independent TD Mick Wallace in the course of a briefing from the force.


The minister said he felt obliged to make the information public because Mr Wallace was adamant that gardaí should not use discretion.


There you go now.

Earlier: No Points At The Five Lamps

Previously: How Did He Know?

(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)

WallaceIndependent TD Mick Wallace, above, spoke to Pat Kenny earlier this morning about claims made by Justice Minister Alan Shatter that Mr Wallace had been on his mobile phone when he was stopped and advised by Gardaí that he could receive a fixed ticket charge and penalty points, before being warned not to do it again.

Mr Wallace told Mr Kenny he was shocked and thrown by the claims.

He said he genuinely couldn’t recall the incident and even thought Mr Shatter had made it up.

He said he then got a text from a journalist on Saturday, in which he was asked:

“Were you stopped and warned at the Five Lamps on the North Circular Road?”

He told Pat he then did eventually recall an incident involving the Gardai but he was neither stopped nor warned:

Mick Wallace: “I was parked at the lights and a Garda vehicle came up beside me. And I was on the phone…which I know, I was wrong, I shouldn’t have been on it. The guard..I rolled down the window, the guard rolled down his window. There was two guards there. And I said ‘oh’, I just had my hand up and they said ‘it’s OK’. And, left it at that. And we just, we made small talk after for maybe about 15/20 seconds and the lights went green and I drove on straight and they pulled out. The guards were friendly.”

Pat Kenny: “And did you apologise to them at the time, when you rolled down the windows ‘sorry, guard, I’m on the phone here.”

Wallace: “Yes, I would have done, I stopped being on the phone and I said ‘look, sorry guard’. And they said ‘it’s OK’. And we went on to talk about something else.”

Alan Shatter is to speak – possibly creepily – about all of this at midday.

More as we get it.

Listen here.

Previously: How Did He Know?

Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

CallinSHatWallJustice Minister Alan Shatter and Mick Wallace were on Prime Time tonight to talk about the penalty points report and the appearance of Commissioner Martin Callinan at a Public Accounts Committee meeting earlier today.

During the chat, Mr Shatter accused Mr Wallace of having been stopped by the gardaí last May.

He said – with the authority of someone who may have actually seen a file on the subject – that Mr Wallace was on his phone while driving.

The rot is very strong in this one.

Alan Shatter: “As Deputy Wallace knows, even without…in issuing tickets, the Gardaí exercised discretion. Deputy Wallace himself was stopped with a mobile, on a mobile phone last May, by members of An Garda Síochána and he was advised by the guard who stopped him that a fixed ticket charge could issue and you would be, he could be given penalty points. But the garda apparently, as I’m advised…”

Pat Kenny: “Used his discretion.”

Shatter: “Used his discretion and warned him and told him not to do it again.”

Pat Kenny: “Mick? Mick? The guard used his discretion?”

Wallace: “I tell you what, first of all that’s news to me. Secondly, right, with regard to discretion…”

Kenny: “You don’t recall that incident?”

Wallace: “I don’t know. Listen with regard to discretion. It’s all very well to say they’re using discretions here and there but in actual fact, once the, the rule is once it goes on the system, they should go to court to deal with it. Now listen..”

Kenny: “By the way, are you not concerned that the minister should know about your private business dealing with the Gardaí?”

Wallace: “I’m not, I’m not remotely worried about what the minister knows.”

Previously: But Anything You Do Say Will Be Taken Down

Summary Of The Penalty Point Report