Mr Justice Charleton to lead investigation into alleged campaign to discredit whistleblowers

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Mr Justice Peter Charleton of the Supreme Court will lead an investigation into allegations that An Garda Síochána officials directed a campaign to discredit whistleblowers in the media.

Cabinet ministers yesterday approved Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald’s proposal to give full effect to recommendations made in a report by Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill.

The “necessary steps” are now being taken to take forward his central recommendation to set up a commission of investigation.

A statement of reasons and draft order establishing the commission have been laid before the Oireachtas in line with the terms of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004.

Speaking yesterday, Ms Fitzgerald said: “It is right that, having referred this matter to Mr Justice O’Neill, we should now move to implement his recommendations in full.

“It is important to emphasise that it was not in the nature of Mr Justice O’Neill’s review to be able to establish the truth or otherwise of what has been alleged; nor could he or did he make findings against anyone.

“Allegations of wrongdoing have to be investigated fairly and fully. That is what is now going to happen.

“It is in the interests of both persons making the allegations and those against whom allegations have been made that the Commission, which will have all the necessary legal powers to attempt to establish the truth, be allowed proceed with its important work.”

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