Disclosures Tribunal hears evidence from Frances Fitzgerald

The former Tánaiste has told the tribunal she resigned her position to avoid a general election

Disclosures Tribunal hears evidence from Frances Fitzgerald

Former Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald arriving at the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle, 31-01-2017. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Updated: 16.25

The Disclosures Tribunal has been hearing evidence from the former Justice Minister and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald.

She has told the tribunal that she did not see an email of May 2015 as informing her of a garda legal strategy to pursue the motivation of Maurice McCabe at the O'Higgins Inquiry.

Ms Fitzgerald said she does not know when she read it, but accepts she did.

The email referred to an allegation of a serious criminal complaint against Sergeant McCabe being raised by counsel for the garda.

Deputy Fitzgerald said that it was for Judge O'Higgins to deal with, and that she had no role in interfering in a Commission of Investigation.

She also told the tribunal she resigned to avoid a general election because of the circumstances of the time.

Earlier, the tribunal heard Martin Power from the Department of Justice sent a submission to the then-justice minister along with a report by the garda watchdog which found that a complaint against Sergeant McCabe was properly investigated.

In the submission, Mr Power said he thought the alleged sexual assault was referred to during the initial hearings of the O’Higgins Commission.

The Disclosures Tribunal heard the then-Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald appears to have initialed the submission.

This submission could be construed as one more notification sent to the minister about a garda legal strategy to discredit Maurice McCabe.