In April 2013 Irish Independent journalist Gemma O’Doherty broke the story of how former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan had penalty points for speeding quashed. Ms O’Doherty lost her job soon after.
Further to this, Sinn Féin TD Padraig MacLochlainn addressed Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald in the Dáil last week about ‘new developments’ concerning Mr Callinan’s penalty points being quashed.
Mr MacLochlainn spoke about these developments during the second stage debate on the Garda Síochána (Amendment) (No.3) Bill 2014.
“Consider the issue of accountability concerning questions. It has been brought to my attention by journalist Gemma O’Doherty in recent days that she has reported that former Garda Commissioner Mr. Martin Callinan had penalty points for speeding terminated. He confirmed this in an article in the Irish Independent. Ms O’Doherty asserts she was fired a number of weeks after that story was published, and she is taking a number of legal cases in regard to that.”
“She has advised me she has come into possession of new information. On that basis, she submitted a number of questions to the Acting Garda Commissioner, which the latter has refused to answer, as is evident from the e-mail. The questions, which Ms O’Doherty sent to the Minister also, are as follows.”
“What was the basis for the termination of Mr. Callinan’s speeding fine? There was no indication of the reason on the PULSE printout.
Why was Mr. Callinan not using an official Garda car on the day he was caught speeding given that he was on official Garda business?
Did he drive to work on the day he incurred his speeding ticket?
What time did he start work that day?
Was the meeting he was speeding to pre-planned?
Was this meeting recorded in his diary? Was he aware of this meeting?
Was anyone with Mr. Callanan in his car when he was caught speeding?
Was a written report made of his meeting? At what time did the meeting begin and end? What was the location of the meeting? Did Mr. Callanan return to Garda headquarters after the meeting? Did he claim mileage or subsistence allowance for the day in question? Were there any other occasions on which Mr. Callanan used his private car for Garda business?”
“All of these questions are now on the record of the Dáil. Since the Acting Garda Commissioner has not provided the information, I ask that the Minister provide it. It is a very serious matter and there is considerable public interest in it. I hope the Minister can obtain the answers to the questions that the Acting Garda Commissioner has refused to give.”
Ms Fitzgerald did not respond.
Previously: To Protect And Swerve