"I believe it should be published today" - Alan Shatter on O'Higgins report

The former Justice Minister says he resigned after "what the Taoiseach had to say" about the Guerin report

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Alan Shatter. Image: RollingNews.ie

The former Justice Minister Alan Shatter has called on Frances Fitzgerald to publish the O'Higgins report immediately.

The report into alleged Garda malpractice in Cavan-Monaghan was handed to the Acting Justice Minister earlier this week.

The O'Higgins Commission - overseen by Mr Justice Kevin O’Higgins - was established in February of last year to investigate claims made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe about the Cavan-Monaghan division of An Garda Síochána.

The claims would eventually lead to the resignation of then Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

Mr Shatter's resignation followed the Government's receipt of a report by Seán Guerin that was critical of the Department of Justice's response to the allegations made by Sergeant McCabe.

Frances Fitzgerald has said she will publish the final report as soon as possible.

The Attorney General, Máire Whelan, has been asked to clear the report to allow for its publication.

Speaking to Newstalk Lunchtime, Mr Shatter says the report and its contents "are confidential until its officially published... so I can't formally say what I've seen, what I've read.

"It seems that bits of it are now appearing in public. I think the truth should be known - there's an obligation on the minister to publish the report as soon as possible... There's no legal impediment to its immediate publication, and I believe it should be published today," he explained.

Mr Shatter says "it was made clear" to him by Enda Kenny "that if I didn't resign he wouldn't be able to express confidence in me in the Dáil.

"I resigned for two reasons. The first reason was what the Taoiseach had to say about the matter. The second reason was I was conscious that no matter what I might say in response to the Guerin report, there was inevitably going to be further controversy. I was concerned about the negative impact it might have on the Government... and Fine Gael colleagues," he added.