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.