O’Higgins Commission report finds Shatter took whistleblower allegations seriously

Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter
Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter

Allegations by Garda whistleblowers were taken seriously by former Justice Minister Alan Shatter, the O’Higgins Commission of Inquiry has concluded.

The final report from the investigation led by Mr Justice Kevin O’Higgins was presented to Acting Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald earlier this week.

She expressed her gratitude to the senior judge and his team for “the promptness with which the Commission concluded its challenging work”.

The 360-page report has not yet been published, but reports indicate it rejects suggestions that Mr Shatter did not pay heed to whistleblowers.

In doing so, it directly contradicts the critical report by barrister Seán Guerin SC which led to Mr Shatter’s resignation in 2014.

The O’Higgins report is said to state that there was not a “scintilla of evidence” to substantiate allegations of corruption against former Garda commissioner Martin Calllinan.

It adds that communication between Mr Callinan, Mr Shatter and the Department of Justice were professional and appropriate at all times.

However, it also says that whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe acted out of “genuine and legitimate concerns” when alleging otherwise.

Mr Shatter, who lost his seat in the recent Dáil election, has now called for the O’Higgins report to be released immediately.

He told RTÉ’s Today with Keelin Shanley that he does not know why its publication has been delayed.

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