Under the Defence Forces regulations, the findings and recommendations of all courts of inquiry are confidential. I have the power to waive that confidentiality but I can only do so under fair procedures – that means consulting the Attorney General on which sections must be omitted for legal reasons.
I share the Deputy's concerns for and sympathies with the families who lost loved ones in this tragic clash, but there should be no suspicion that anything was withheld other than that which was absolutely legally necessary. Those sections dealt with third parties who were not subject to the court of inquiry. If the Deputy meets the families, he should convey that as sincerely as he can.
We are not obliged to disclose the contents of a report of a court of inquiry. I waived that confidentiality clause and then consulted the Attorney General on the sections to be withheld. They were withheld on a strictly legal basis because they related to third parties who were not subject to the court of inquiry and only on that basis.