McDowell admits handing documents to Independent

It appears that just as I was posting my first weekly column, events have taken another twist. McDowell has admitted handing documents to the Irish Independent. The Irish Times breaking news notes:

He maintained that his statement about Mr Connolly in the Dáil was “the unvarnished truth” and said the Official Secrets Act provided for a Minister to make official information available to the media in the public interest.

“I won’t be brow-beaten into silence by people who are peddling what I regard to be a complete falsehood – and that is that unless material is proved beyond all reasonable doubt by admissible evidence in a court of law, that it cannot be the subject matter of any comment by a minister for justice ” he told RTÉ’s News at One.

“It was not a confidential document, it was a bogus fraudulent document,” Mr McDowell said.

“It is not a concern of mine that the matter appeared in the Irish Independent because I supplied it to the Irish Independent . . . I provided that document to the Irish Independent.”

“I did it for a particular reason and that was because on a previous RTE programme … remarks had been made which suggested that there was no truth whatsoever in these questions that were being raised about Mr Connolly.”

If McDowell seeks to maintain trust in the office of Minister for Justice he should resign. I expect it won’t happen though, with the revelations about banking on Prime Time tonight we can expect this scandal to fade to black. Wait and see.

6 thoughts on “McDowell admits handing documents to Independent”

  1. I’m actually stunned at the ever increasing spiral of McDowell’s buffoonery. I’m not quite sure how leaking Garda documents to the press is suppose to protect our national security interests.

    Is this not the same man who threatened Gardai with jail for speaking off the record to journalists?

    How in the name of God, can Mary Harney have this loose cannon in her party? And how can we hold our heads up as a nation that would put a clown like this man in charge of the Department of justice.

  2. I have to agree with what mcdowell. did no one seems to have a problam with what he did when he said Adams was on the IRA council. But suddenly for basically the same aqusation people now say it was wrong. That is a double standard. Either you say he is wrong to say adams and connoly are IRA or you say he is right. You can’t say one thing for adams and another for connoly. And it was in the national interest. A man in that postition whos loyalitys lie with an organisation that is intent on over throwing the government of the country. How is not not in securitys interest

    Also do you imagine any other minister being 100% honest to the public about what action he took. Look at Ivor. Mcdowells honesty should be comended.

  3. Personally I’d really appreciate it if he’d put aside his personal vendetta againt the IRA for five mins and address some other matters. I totally agree with blankpaige in that he apperas to be spiralling out of control. He used to be one of the few members of that cabinet whom I respected for speaking his mind but I fear he’s experiencing a slight mania recently….

  4. Simon, not everyone agreed with McDowell releasing the names of the IRA army council in the way he did. I for one did not.

    I do not believe it is appropriate for the Minister for Justice to use the office in this way. We are supposed to have separation of powers in this country. And it’s there for very good reasons. One reason is to stop governments abusing the apparatus of the state for their own political ends.

    Supposing in future we have a Sinn Fein minister for justice. Would you be happy with them using the office in the same way that McDowell does?
    Or is it OK for McDowell because he’s “one of us”?

  5. Simon: “A man in that postition whos loyalitys lie with an organisation that is intent on over throwing the government of the country.”

    A lot of suppostion here and very little hard evidence. Perhaps a trip to Colombia (if it is true) is a threat to Colombian national security but I don’t see how it’s a threat to Ireland’s. If this issue is so serious then I expect the minister to make a stronger case than “trust me”. Also, if there really is such a threat to national security I would expect a stronger response than leaking a document to the media and giving a nod-and-a-wink to the rest of us.

    God help us if we ever face a real threat to the state if this is the quality of the response.

    Here’s an interesting quote from the Examiner:

    “The CPI had in recent months begun researching the €30 million purchase by Mr McDowell’s department of the Thornton Hall site in Co Dublin, earmarked for a new prison complex.”

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