Guerin Report: Statements

The Taoiseach has indicated that he wishes to make a statement, pursuant to Standing Order 55, in relation to Mr. Alan Shatter.

The House will recall that in February 2014, the then Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, appointed Seán Guerin SC to carry out a review of the actions taken by An Garda Síochána pertaining to certain allegations made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe. Mr. Guerin provided his report in May 2014, and following a meeting with Mr. Kenny, Alan Shatter resigned from the Government. Mr. Shatter made clear in resigning that Mr. Guerin had not asked to interview him, as he would have expected if his intention was to reach conclusions about Mr. Shatter's approach with regard to issues raised by Sergeant McCabe. Mr. Shatter commenced proceedings for a judicial review of the report.

In February 2019, the Supreme Court found that the conclusions regarding Mr. Shatter in the Guerin report were outside the scope of the terms of reference of the review and were arrived at without an invitation to Mr. Shatter to express his views. The court granted a declaration that the conclusions in the report in respect of Mr. Shatter were outside the scope of Mr. Guerin's terms of reference. The court also emphasised that it was far from critical of Mr. Guerin's conduct in carrying out the review in the prevailing circumstances.

It is important that the decision of the Supreme Court is properly reflected in the information placed before the House. Therefore, as a matter of propriety and fairness, I recently placed a redacted version of the report in the Oireachtas Library with those paragraphs which the Supreme Court found were outside the scope of the review removed from the text. The revised report is accompanied by the full texts of the Supreme Court's judgments to contextualise the matter.

As this is a personal statement, is there any scope for comment?

I have discretion in this matter if the Deputy wants to make a quick contribution. I will allow party leaders to come in.

I have a simple question. Was the former Deputy, Mr. Shatter, notified of the Taoiseach's statement and has the Taoiseach been in communication with him to inform him of the correction of the Dáil record on this matter? If not, does he intend to do so?

There has been ongoing correspondence with the former Minister, Mr. Shatter, on this issue and this is the culmination of that correspondence.