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Ireland's deputy prime minister resists calls to resign

Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister Frances Fitzgerald has resisted calls to resign as more evidence has emerged about her level of knowledge surrounding a plan to discredit an Irish police whistleblower.

Published: 28th November 2017 12:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th November 2017 12:13 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

DUBLIN: Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister Frances Fitzgerald has resisted calls to resign as more evidence has emerged about her level of knowledge surrounding a plan to discredit an Irish police whistleblower.

On Monday, documents revealed Frances Fitzgerald had received a letter discussing the action from an official, BBC reported.

At the time she was the Irish minster for justice. She faces a vote of no confidence in the Dáil (Irish parliament) on Tuesday.

A government spokesperson said it retained full confidence in Fitzgerald. The dispute has created a political crisis.

In 2015, the O'Higgins Commission was established by the government to look examine malpractice allegations in the Garda's (Irish police) Cavan-Monaghan division.

On Monday evening, it was revealed that the now tánaiste (Irish deputy prime minister) was personally sent a letter from one of her officials in July 2015, which discussed the "aggressive stance towards Sgt. Maurice McCabe at the commission".

The letter is one of a number of documents published by the department of justice from a record trawl requested by Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar.

In a series of tweets on Monday evening, Fitzgerald wrote: "As Justice Minister I could not interfere with the O'Higgins Commission. This is confirmed twice in today's docs & has been confirmed by the Attorney General."

A judge-led tribunal is also being held to establish whether senior Garda officers were involved in an alleged smear campaign against whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Fitzgerald also wrote: "The Tribunal will objectively judge the appropriateness of my conduct. I look forward to giving my evidence to the Tribunal early in January."

Last week Fitzgerald faced questions in the Dáil (Irish parliament) over an email she was sent by former Garda Commissioner, Noirín O'Sullivan, which outlined the legal strategy to be pursued against Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Fitzgerald said she could not remember reading it.

However, she recently admitted she was made aware a year earlier than she had previously stated, that lawyers for the Garda were going to attempt to discredit Sgt. McCabe.



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