Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Department of Justice and Equality
261. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if the email accounts of his predecessor and her special advisers were examined as part of the trawl for documents relevant to the Charleton Tribunal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51925/17]
While the email accounts of the then Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality and her advisors were not specifically examined as part of the recent trawl for documents, I can confirm that the email accounts of officials working in relevant areas of the Department were searched and that this exercise would of course encompass emails sent from or to the then Minister and her advisors on any such matters.
I would point out that all discovery orders issued by the Tribunal were complied with fully. The Department has also made extensive voluntary disclosure of other matters including three protected disclosures, reports from the Garda Commissioner under section 41 of the Garda Síochána Act and, most recently, the two email threads that were uncovered following a trawl of documents in the Department. In acknowledging receipt of the emails, the Tribunal made reference to my Department's already extensive discovery which has allowed the Tribunal to place the current documents in context.
I am assured that in the event of further documents being located that may be of relevance to the Tribunal's work that these will of course be furnished to the Tribunal and I would point out that, the Deputy will be aware, the Taoiseach has announced that there will be an external examination of the way in which my Department fulfilled its obligations in relation to discovering documents to the Tribunal, to conclude before Christmas. That is a step I welcome."
I can assure the Deputy that any further Discovery Orders to be made by the Tribunal will also be complied with in full and the Tribunal has been assured of my full and ongoing support in that regard.