Charles Haughey denies any knowledge of phone tapping while he was Taoiseach and calls for a judicial inquiry into the affair.

In 1982 an article in The Irish Times alleged that the telephones of journalists Geraldine Kennedy, Bruce Arnold and Vincent Browne had been tapped and that this had been sanctioned by Fianna Fáil when they had been in government.

Former Minister for Justice Seán Doherty signed warrants which authorised the Gardaí to tap the phones, a fact he denied at the time.

Almost ten years later, when he appeared on RTÉ’s ‘Nighthawks’ programme, and Fianna Fáil were once more in government, Doherty told presenter Shay Healy that the taps had been authorised, and that Charles Haughey, then Taoiseach, had known about them.

This revelation started a chain of events which lead to Haughey resigning as Taoiseach and leaving public life.

In this interview for RTÉ News, former Taoiseach Charles Haughey denies knowing that journalists’ phones were tapped, and calls for a judicial enquiry into the matter,

The allegations are wide-ranging, they accuse many people, the allegations as they are coming out now in the newspapers and elsewhere...a wide spectrum of people are now involved, Garda officers, civil servants in the Department of Justice, the Minister for Justice, and politicians. So I believe now that the matter has gone so far that the only satisfactory answer is to have the allegations fully investigated, in a judicial enquiry, so that everybody can know where they stand, and we can see whether there’s any truth whatsoever in any element of them.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 19 January 1983. The reporter is Alan McCullough.