4. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the actions he plans to take to ensure accountability and transparency in An Garda Síochána on foot of the Charleton report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42707/18]
Deputy Charles Flanagan: The findings and conclusions of the disclosures tribunal third interim report are stark. The central conclusion that it reached is that a man who rightly saw loyalty to the people whom he served as superior to any loyalty to the organisation of which he was part, a man who at all times had the interests of the public uppermost in his mind, had to endure a campaign of calumny by those who should have protected and supported him. Sergeant Maurice McCabe deserves the gratitude of all of us for bringing serious shortcomings to public attention. He also deserves an apology for what he and his family had to endure for over a decade.
Since the report was published, I have spoken with Sergeant McCabe and apologised on behalf of the State to him and his family for the manner in which he was treated over a number of years. I will arrange to meet the sergeant in the near future to reiterate this apology to him in person. I understand the Garda Commissioner has also been in touch with him and I welcome that.
The report of the tribunal is, in many respects, a damning report that goes to the heart of how An Garda Síochána handles allegations of wrongdoing within the organisation. It is a lengthy report which requires and deserves careful study. Indeed, Mr. Justice Charleton says in his report that it is important to read it in its entirety to appreciate the sense of its overall findings. I urge Members of the House to take that common sense advice on board and to read the report in its entirety, rather than be selective.
My officials and I are currently examining the report to see what actions are required in the light of its contents and conclusions. I expect others will do likewise. We all have a responsibility to respond appropriately to the findings of the tribunal and in that context we will have a debate on the report commencing this afternoon.