On 7 December 2016, the then Tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald T.D., received from Mr. Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill the report of his Review relating to two protected disclosures, which were made to her by members of An Garda Síochána in early October. Mr Justice O’Neill recommended that a Commission of Investigation under the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004 should be established to ascertain the truth or falsity of the allegations made in the protected disclosures. He also proposed terms of reference for the Investigation.
On 14th February 2017, the Tánaiste, given the public interest issues involved, secured Government approval for the establishment of a Tribunal of Inquiry to investigate protected disclosures made under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 and certain other matters. The Disclosures Tribunal was appointed on 17th February 2017 when the Tánaiste signed the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 (Appointment of Tribunal) Instrument 2017. The Instrument appointed Mr. Justice Peter Charleton, a judge of the Supreme Court, as the sole member of the Tribunal.
Since its establishment, the Tribunal has issued three Interim Reports:
First Interim Report-(link)
Second Interim Report-(link)
Third Interim Report-(link)
The first module of the Tribunal, dealing with the matters contained in Terms of Reference [a] to [o], concluded on 11 October 2018 with the laying of Mr Justice Peter Charleton’s Third Interim Report before the Oireachtas.
On 7 December 2018 Mr Justice Sean Ryan, retired President of the Court of Appeal, was appointed to conduct the Tribunal’s second module. This module is investigating the matter set out in Term of Reference [p]. This work is currently ongoing.
Further information relating to the Tribunal including its Terms of Reference and updates on its work are available on its website, http://www.disclosuretribunal.ie/