Dublin West TD ‘pleased’ with report findings

by Padraig Conlon

Local Fine Gael TD Frances Fitzgerald welcomed the publication of the Charleton Report last Thursday.

Mr Justice Charleton said the tribunal fully accepted the evidence of Ms Fitzgerald in regard to her knowledge of an alleged Garda stratagy against whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

It also accepted that her decision not to interfere when informed of the strategy “was not a lazy dodging of the issues but rather a considered response to the information”.

The Tribunal furthermore accepted she never spoke with former Garda Commissioner Noirin O Sullivan about this matter and she acted appropriately at all times.

In a statement, Ms Fitzgerald said on a personal level she was pleased that she was “found to have acted appropriately, used my judgement well, and that my evidence has been accepted as truthful”.

“I established the Tribunal to find the truth about very disturbing information given to me when I was Minister for Justice & Equality, and I am pleased that it is proving effective in the quest for the truth in these complex matters,” she said.

“There are many lessons to be drawn from the Report, which requires thorough and careful reading.

“It is tempting to jump to conclusions in complex situations but in both politics and the media this must be tempered by respect for facts and due process,” Ms Fitzgerald said, adding that at all times she had abided by these principles.

On Monday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar again called on Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein to correct the Dail record and withdraw false allegations both parties made last November against Ms Fitzgerald.

“I am disappointed they have not corrected the record. I think Frances Fitzgerald was very badly treated by Fianna Fail and by Sinn Fein and by others.

“As Taoiseach I have had a number of occasions in which I have had to correct the record. I don’t think it makes you a lesser person saying you are wrong and having to go into the Dail to correct the record.”

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