Tribunal hears details of emails from Noirín O’Sullivan to Frances Fitzgerald

The emails were discovered in a trawl at the Department of Justice last November

Tribunal hears details of emails from Noirín O’Sullivan to Frances Fitzgerald

Frances Fitzgerald and Noirin O'Sullivan. Photo: Eamonn Farrell/

Former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan suggested to then Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald that she defend her in the Dáil.

Details of three new emails have been heard at the Disclosures Tribunal – which were not previously sent to the Tribunal.

This module of the Tribunal is examining whether former Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan relied on false allegations to smear Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe at the O’Higgins Commission.

Former Secretary General of the Department of Justice, Noel Waters, is the first witness to be heard in this module of the Tribunal, which is also examining contacts between former Commissioner O’Sullivan and Government members, the media and other State entities.

Mr Waters says he has no recollection of receiving emails in May 2015 outlining the Garda Commissioner’s legal strategy to rely on false allegations to discredit Maurice McCabe at the O’Higgins Commission.

He also says it would have been improper for the Department or the Minister to influence the Garda strategy.

The Tribunal heard evidence of three new emails from Noirin O’Sullivan to Frances Fitzgerald in May 2016, in which the then Garda Commissioner suggests tp Minister Fitzgerald that she tell the Dáil she has full confidence in the Commissioner.

The emails were not sent to the Tribunal previously, but were uncovered in a recent trawl of emails at the Department of Justice.

The emails also suggested that Frances Fitzgerald tell the Dáil that at no point did the Commissioner instruct her legal team to attack the integrity of Sergeant McCabe, and say that leaked extracts from the O’Higgins Commission robbed Commissioner O’Sullivan of the right to defend her good name.