Emails show Tánaiste noted "agressive" strategy against McCabe

Taoiseach and FF leader meeting in effort to avert general election

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File photo | The former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan with the Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald. Image: RollingNews

21:23 27 Nov 2017 Tom Swift 21:23 Monday 27 November 2017

A trawl of department of justice correspondence has found more emails from the summer of 2015 suggesting the Tánaiste was aware of an "aggressive stance" by lawyers for the Garda Commissioner in relation to Maurice McCabe.

The new revelations come as the Taoiseach and the Fianna Fáil leader continue to discussions on options to avoid a general election. 

Frances Fitzgerald has said, and her party has accepted, that she does not recall an email sent in May 2015 outlining the Garda CommissionerÂ’s legal strategy to attack the motivation of whistleblower Maurice McCabe at the OÂ’Higgins Inquiry.

But in a trawl of records at the Department of Justice, ordered by the Taoiseach, it has now emerged that the Minister ‘noted’ that email.

It has also been confirmed that the former Justice Minister was made aware of a media query which referred to the aggressive stance that the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín OÂ’Sullivan ordered her legal Counsel to take.

The email also advises Frances Fitzgerald that if she was questioned about this, she could say that Sgt. McCabe was "a valued member of the force".

While the email says the matters are before a Commission of Investigation, it will be seen as the second time Minister Fitzgerald was made aware of the plan to smear Maurice McCabe, despite her saying she did not become aware of the matter until a year later.