10 February 2017

Labour spokesperson on Children, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has expressed serious concerns about the revelations regarding the McCabe family and TUSLA, and the actions of Minister Katherine Zappone and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“We must have the upmost confidence in our child protection services and Tusla needs to explain how this happened. It is clear that the terms of reference for the Charleton Commission must be re-examined to ensure that they encompass all of the information revealed last night.

“We also require an urgent, independent review of Tusla practice and policy, to make sure that nobody can again have their name falsely blackened in such a damaging fashion.

“I am also calling on Minister Zappone to immediately provide clarity as to whether she briefed her Cabinet colleagues on her knowledge of the TUSLA file on Maurice McCabe. We have heard this morning that she was fully aware of the details of the case at the end of January. If she did not bring this information to Cabinet, she urgently needs to explain why she withheld such relevant information from her Cabinet colleagues when they were agreeing to the establishment of a commission of investigation.

“Yesterday in the Dáil, the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald claimed she was not aware of any contact between An Garda Síochána and Tusla about Sergeant Maurice McCabe. If Minister Zappone briefed her Cabinet colleagues on the details, then the Tánaiste must now account for why she misled the Dáil on this matter.”

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