Saturday, December 02, 2017

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he still believes former Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald ‘didn’t do anything wrong’, writes Sally Gorman.

Speaking about Ms Fitzgerald’s resignation over the controversial emails surrounding Sgt. Maurice McCabe the Taoiseach said: “I believe there was some level of awareness there but not any detail.”

Defending his former colleague on air with RTÉ’s Marian Finucane this morning, Mr Varadkar said he ultimately “wanted to stand by a colleague, who I believe didn’t do anything wrong.”

To which Finucane replied: “did she do right, did she take action?”

Mr Varadkar started the interview by stating: “It has been a long week in politics” but reminded listeners that it is not the “first time an Irish government has gone through a political crisis,” and says he does not believe the Government has been “weaked” by recent ongoings.

In light of the Maurice McCabe scandal, the Taoiseach admitted it had been going on “far too long and needs to be dealt with”, adding that there is serious reform needed in the Department of Justice.

Varadkar also revealed he is due to appoint a senior barrister to investigate the emails, he couldn’t give any names but will be calling on an independent barrister to handle the saga.

He said: “Having seen this go on for too long and having seen the loss of a colleague I am determinded to reform the Department of Justice and the Gardaí.

The Taoiseach continued by saying later in the interview that “the relationship between Gardaí and the Department of Justice is just too close.”

More to follow.

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