Frances Fitzgerald has major questions to answer. On The Week In Politics she claimed that her first knowledge of the child sex abuse claims labelled by Tusla against Sgt Maurice McCabe was last Thursday on Prime Time. She also claimed that although she knew the Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone, had met with Sgt McCabe on January 25, she didn’t know any of the details.
This is despite the fact that Minister Fitzgerald was then in the process of developing the terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry into a smear campaign against Sergeant McCabe for his actions as a whistle-blower. This is not remotely believable.
On Monday, Fianna Fail Justice Spokesman Jim O’ Callaghan flatly contradicted the Tánaiste. Speaking on RTE he stated he was “100% certain that I did mention Tusla and I’m also 100% certain that I said to the Tánaiste ‘Frances, you need to speak to Katherine Zappone’ because she has met Sgt McCabe and she has full knowledge about this issue.”
It is simply not credible that the Minister for Justice would fail to find out the details of an official meeting between the Minister for Children and the states most prominent whistle-blower. This is particularly true as the mister for Justice helped to form Tusla in January 2014.
If she didn’t debrief Katherine Zappone and mistakenly allowed the terms of reference to exclude Tusla, she was highly incompetent to the point of being negligent.
If she did ask, but is now denying it for political reasons, the Minister for Justice is actively undermining justice in the state. This would also make her into a liar. Either way Frances Fitzgerald’s position has become untenable. Her actions might easily have resulted in fatal flaws in an official inquiry into justice in the state. She has to go immediately.