Rabbitte's anger over delay in tribunal

Rabbitte smells blood, a shame we are so close to summer recess for the Dail.

Mr Rabbitte said that as a result of a story in The Irish Times on Saturday, they now knew what had been asserted from the Labour benches was true, “that both the minister for justice of the day (Mr O’Donoghue) and the attorney general of the day (Mr McDowell) had full knowledge from a report submitted by then Deputy Commissioner Conroy in August 2000 of what was happening in Donegal and the circumstances surrounding the framing of the McBrearty family and so on”.

Mr Rabbitte claimed Mr McDowell had created a circumstance where Mr O’Donoghue was on the run and was even not prepared to appear on Questions and Answers when invited. He repeated his assertion that there was a nine-month delay between the time Mr O’Donoghue saw the details of the case and when the tribunal was set up.

Mr Rabbitte said that Assistant Commissioner Conroy had summarised the gravamen of the allegations in a 37-page legible, intelligible report to Mr O’Donoghue and Mr McDowell, “and now they are covering up why they failed to investigate one of the most serious public interest issues in this jurisdiction”.

Mr McDowell, who was sitting on the Government benches, remarked: “That is wrong.”

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said that in February 1999, Assistant Commissioner Carty was appointed by the Garda Commissioner to investigate allegations that gardaa­ in Donegal had engaged in criminal and unethical behaviour.

In July 2000, Assistant Commissioner Carty submitted his report, which was the investigation file, to the DPP. In August 2000, Assistant Commissioner Conroy forwarded a 37-page summary of the Carty report to the Department of Justice. This, said Mr Ahern, was not the Carty report.

Talk about clutching at straws.