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Gardaí launch criminal probe into Varadkar in wake of leak of document

Debbie McCann  6 hrs ago


Gardaí launch criminal probe into Varadkar in wake of leak of document

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar is under criminal investigation for leaking a confidential government document to a friend.Leo Varadkar wearing a suit and tie© Provided by Extra.ie

The Irish Mail on Sunday has learned a team of detectives under Detective Superintendent Ken Keelin are investigating after a Department of Health whistleblower made a complaint.

It was made three months ago and the investigation is understood to be ‘developing at pace’ with detectives building a case into the leak. The paper has also learned a minister was interviewed three to four weeks ago ‘at length’ (up to three hours) by gardaí, and interviews of department officials are ongoing.Leo Varadkar wearing a suit and tie: Tanaiste Leo Varadkar is under criminal investigation for leaking a confidential government document to a friend. Pic: Julien Behal Photography© Provided by Extra.ie Tanaiste Leo Varadkar is under criminal investigation for leaking a confidential government document to a friend. Pic: Julien Behal Photography

The investigation is centred on the Tánaiste sending a new national GP contract marked ‘confidential’ to his friend Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail in April 2019 when Mr Varadkar was Taoiseach.

Neither Mr Varadkar nor Dr Ó Tuathail have been interviewed as yet. The controversy led to a motion of no confidence in Mr Varadkar tabled by Sinn Féin last November, which the Tánaiste survived. Mr Varadkar admitted that he posted a copy of a contract negotiated between his government and the Irish Medical Organisation to Dr Ó Tuathail, who at the time led a rival doctors’ group called the National Association of General Practitioners.

The Tánaiste apologised for his actions in the Dáil last November after he was accused of breaking the Official Secrets Act and the law. ‘There was nothing selfish, corrupt, dishonest or illegal in what I did,’ he said.a man wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: Dr Ó Tuathail said on Saturday night he has not been interviewed by gardaí and knows nothing about a Garda investigation.Pic: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie© Provided by Extra.ie Dr Ó Tuathail said on Saturday night he has not been interviewed by gardaí and knows nothing about a Garda investigation.Pic: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Garda investigation follows a complaint from a senior official in the Department of Health late last year. A source said: ‘A whistleblower in [the] Department of Health made a complaint and the investigation is developing at pace. A Government minister was interviewed at length and department officials are also being interviewed.’ The source said Mr Varadkar will have to be spoken to as part of the process. Mr Varadkar did not respond to a direct request for comment.

Dr Ó Tuathail said on Saturday night he has not been interviewed by gardaí and knows nothing about a Garda investigation. A Government spokesman did not comment last night. The Garda Press Office said last night: ‘An Garda Síochána has received correspondence which is currently being assessed to determine what if any Garda action is required.’

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