By Conor Hunt

Frances Fitzgerald has resigned, a Christmas election averted, but the fallout from this political crisis will continue,

And as the dust begins to settle on the departure of the former justice minister, attention will now turn to a number of unanswered questions.

The Department of Justice released a series of emails yesterday.

Among other things, the files show Frances Fitzgerald was aware of the "aggressive stance" against garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe at the O'Higgins Commission.

The correspondence effectively signalled  Frances Fitzgerald's exit from Cabinet.

The emails also shed light on the link between the Department and top gardaí.

One document shows that the department had liaised with former garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan about how Frances Fitzgerald should handle media questions on the controversy.

The question for the department is why wasn’t the correspondence already sent to the Disclosures Tribunal, which is investigating the alleged smear campaign against Sgt McCabe.

When that tribunal first sat in Dublin Castle last February,  Mr Justice Peter Charleton made an appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

Why did the department, which helped establish the terms of reference, not act then?

Another question for the department concerns the May 2015 email which sparked this latest controversy.

Officials discovered the email on 9 November, but Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan wasn't told about the discovery until 13 November.

Today in the Dáil, the Taoiseach said will be an external inquiry into the "dysfunctional" Department of Justice and why it did not provide all the information to the tribunal.

Reforms to the department look set to be accelerated, but the criticisms of it will continue.