Top: Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan before PAC on January 23, 2014; Mr Callinan, former General Secretary of the Department of Justice Brian Purcell and former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter
At the Disclosures Tribunal.
It has heard that the then General Secretary of the Department of Justice Brian Purcell texted the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan on the day that Mr Callinan appeared before PAC on January 23, 2014…
This was the PAC meeting when Mr Callinan made his infamous “disgusting” remark.
At 3.02pm, on that day, Mr Purcell texted Mr Callinan:
“Well done, exceptional performance under fire. Brian.”
This was 12 minutes after the meeting finished.
Readers will recall how, the following day, January 24, 2014, Mr Callinan met Fianna Fail TD and then chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness in a Dublin car park.
This is Mr McGuinness’s account of that meeting:
“I arrived in the car park, as arranged, and I presumed that we were going to meet in the hotel, so when I saw the Commissioner approach, I was in the process of getting out of the car, but he in turn went around quickly to the passenger side of my car and sat in.
And then he immediately got into the conversation to do with the Maurice McCabe and the issues.
“I suggested to him at the beginning of this conversation, as I did the day before, that like any other employer that perhaps the best way out of this was for him to talk directly to Sergeant Maurice McCabe and to determine what exactly the issues were and resolve it that way, without it having to, you know, go into the public realm and him dealing — trying to deal with it that way.
“And it was at that stage that he said to me that no, it had gone beyond all of that and that there was issues to do with Maurice McCabe and his behaviour and he suggested that there was — he had sexually abused his family and an individual, that he was not to be trusted, that I had made a grave error in relation to the Public Accounts Committee and the hearings because of this and that I would find myself in serious trouble.”
“He gave me to believe that there was an investigation ongoing in relation to the allegations and that they were at an advanced stage and I immediately presumed from that that Sergeant Maurice McCabe would be charged with something or other.
“…I believe that he said that there was a file, I presumed that this was a file that was going to whatever prosecutor would be involved in the case.”
Mr Callinan denies this.
On that same day…
Mr Purcell texted Mr Callinan saying:
“Martin, know u are en route to Dundalk, can u call me if possible, just wondering how u got on with JMcG. Brian.”
The tribunal heard today that the Public Accounts Committee eventually made the decision to have Sgt McCabe go before it and discuss the quashing of penalty points, in private, on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 with Sgt McCabe ultimately giving evidence the following Thursday, January 30, 2014.