Local MEP raised sex smear allegations long before Howlin

MEP for this region Luke Ming Flanagan says Brendan Howlin’s allegations of an alleged smear campaign against Maurice McCabe is ‘old news’.

Yesterday Deputy Brendan Howlin claimed he’d been told that Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan had contacted journalists accusing whistleblower Maurice McCabe of sex crimes.

However speaking on today’s The Wider View Programme, MEP Flanagan says those claims were made in the Dáil previously by Independent TD’s, but it was never investigated.

He also says it is only right that Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan temporarily step aside to allow the Commission of Inquiry take place.

The government and Fianna Fáil are standing by the Garda Commissioner – but a Fine Gael backbencher’s broken ranks and says she should step aside.

The Dáil’s been debating the terms of reference for the Charleton inquiry – with the Tánaiste agreeing to an expansion of what should be investigated.

 

The Tánaiste and Justice Minister this afternoon rallied behind the Garda Commissioner, saying there was no allegation proven and added it would be fanciful for Noirin O’Sullivan to stand aside.

But the only other Fine Gael TD to address the debate in the Dáil was Wexford backbencher Michael Darcy – who broke ranks and said he doesn’t believe the Commissioner because of her actions.

The Labour leader Brendan Howlin’s been under pressure for using Dáil privilege yesterday to outline the nature of some of the smears against Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

He spoke to him today.

Amid calls from Fianna Fáil for the inquiry to be extended to cover contacts between former commissioner Martin Callinan and members of the Cabinet, the Tánaiste says she would accept that.