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Explanation needed for new document dump and statements at Tribunal

9 January 2018

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health

Labour TD Alan Kelly has said an urgent explanation is needed from An Garda Síochana and the Department of Justice for the volume of documents provided to the Disclosures Tribunal in recent weeks.

The volume of documents presented has led to a delay in the taking of evidence from the previously published schedule of witnesses.

It follows confirmation, further to Deputy Kelly’s series of questions in 2017, that the Gardaí asked the Department for guidance on the legal strategy pursued against Sergeant McCabe at the O’Higgins Commission.

Deputy Kelly said:

“I am deeply concerned that dozens of boxes of evidence has only been made available to the Disclosures Tribunal in recent weeks from An Garda Síochána and the Department of Justice alongside the fact that the former Minister and Department of Justice officials have now made statements as well.

“This ‘document dump’ and the new statements appear to be as a result of the questions I have been asking in 2017 of the Department and the Minister.

“However we haven’t heard any explanation from the Minister or the Department about what these many boxes contain or why the documents were only handed over. Why didn't the Department comply with the Tribunal discovery from the beginning?

“As has been reported, both of these bodies were required to hand over relevant material to the tribunal months ago.

“I am deeply concerned that the volume of material handed over has led to a delay in the taking of the published list of witnesses at the Tribunal, and the knock on effect that will have on getting to the truth.

"The latest developments follow the confirmation today that the Department of Justice was consulted by An Garda Síochána about the legal strategy pursued against Sergeant McCabe at the O'Higgins Commission as revealed through my parliamentary questions in late 2017."