Tag Archives: Martin Callinan

From top: Sergeant Maurice McCabe; Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan

On Wednesday.

At the Disclosures Tribunal.

In George’s Hall, Dublin Castle.

Diarmuid McGuinness SC, counsel for the tribunal, read out an opening statement outlining the progress the tribunal is making and an overview of the evidence gathered to date.

Readers will recall how the tribunal is examining claims that a smear campaign was conducted against Sgt Maurice McCabe by former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan – with the knowledge of Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan – as alleged by the former head of the Garda Press Office, Superintendent David Taylor.

Both Mr Callinan and Ms O’Sullivan deny the allegations.

In reading out the opening statement, Diarmuid McGuinness SC explained that Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness, RTÉ journalist Philip Boucher-Hayes and Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy have all told the tribunal about claims former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan made to them directly about Sgt Maurice McCabe.

He also read out statements made by former Sunday Independent editor Anne Harris, journalist Gemma O’Doherty, and Labour TD Brendan Howlin, about a conversation he had with former Irish Mail on Sunday journalist Alison O’Reilly and a follow-up statement from Ms O’Reilly.

He also explained how the tribunal wrote letters to almost 30 journalists but “with a few exceptions” many of these letters have gone unanswered (more below). Diarmuid McGuinness SC didn’t specify who responded and who didn’t respond.

The Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy said he and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan met at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee [PAC] on January 23, 2014. It was at this meeting that Mr Callinan, who sat next to Noirin O’Sullivan, referred to former Garda John Wilson and Sgt Maurice McCabe as “disgusting”.

Mr McCarthy told the tribunal:

Commissioner Callinan referred to Sergeant McCabe by name and made statements to the effect that Sergeant McCabe was not to be trusted, that he had questions to answer, and that there were allegations of sexual offences against him.

In his response, Mr Callinan said:

I did not at any point state that Sergeant McCabe was not to be trusted nor that he had questions to answer. I did not state that there were any allegations of sexual offences against him.

Mr McGuinness told the tribunal a meeting took place between him and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan on the 24th of January, 2014 – the day after the PAC meeting – in the carpark of Bewley’s Hotel, Newlands Cross, Co. Dublin. Mr McGuinness told the tribunal:

Mr Callinan asked if I was aware of issues surrounding Mr McCabe’s personal life. I stated that I had heard vague rumours and gossip that Mr McCabe had abused someone and that he was a paedophile but that I had been assured by Mr McCabe that these rumours were lies, that he had heard them before and that they were malicious falsehoods.

Mr Callinan stated to me that the rumours were true, that Mr McCabe had sexually abused someone and that he was not a credible person. Mr Callinan stated that an investigation into Mr McCabe’s activities was underway. Mr Callinan then asked me was I aware that Mr McCabe had sexually abused family members. I was shocked and extremely troubled by what Mr Callinan was telling me because the allegations being made were extreme and the person relaying them to me, as well as the fact that an investigation had commenced, was the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána.

When he left my car, Mr Callinan put his hand on my arm and stated that Mr McCabe was not reliable and could not be trusted and suggested that I had gotten myself and the Public Accounts Committee into a lot of trouble by pursuing the penalty points issue.

In addition,  Deputy McGuinness’s statement to the tribunal states that he kept a handwritten note of the meeting. Part of that note reads:

Sexual abuse!
Individual + family
Don’t trust him
Story not credible
Investigations ongoing
He’s not credible

In his response, former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan told the tribunal:

I did not at any time state to Mr McGuinness that Mr McCabe had sexually abused anyone or that he was not a credible person… I never at any stage indicated to Mr McGuinness that Sergeant McCabe had sexually abused family members.

Mr Boucher-Hayes told the tribunal of a conversation he had with Mr Callinan outside an RTE studio on December 17, 2013, as part of Crimecall programme. There had been a disagreement about whether Mr Boucher-Hayes could ask Mr Callinan about the penalty points allegations made by Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Mr Boucher-Hayes said:

He offered me background information on the penalty point story. But the majority of his information related solely to the two whistleblowers, John Wilson and Maurice McCabe, not to the substance of the story. He offered a negative but cursory impression of John Wilson, before speaking at some length on Maurice McCabe’s character. I had not asked any questions to elicit this information.

He told me that McCabe was a troubled individual and that he had a “lot of psychological issues and psychiatric issues”. He claimed that McCabe was motivated by a set of grievances against Garda management and that he was famous with An Garda Síochána for this. He warned me that McCabe was not to be trusted and went onto add that there were other things he could tell me about him “horrific things, the worst kind of thing” but he did not elaborate further.

In his response, Mr Callinan said:

I did not speak “at some length” on Sergeant McCabe’s character as indicated. I did not state that Sergeant McCabe had “a lot of psychological issues and psychiatric issues,” and was “motivated by a set of grievances against Garda management and that he was famous within An Garda Síochána for this.”

I did not indicate to Philip Boucher Hayes that Sergeant McCabe was not to be trusted, nor did I state there were other things I could tell him about “horrific things, the worst kind of thing.” I do not know what Philip Boucher-Hayes is referring to.

In addition, Superintendent Dave Taylor has told the tribunal that, in the company of now Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, Garda communications director Andrew McLindon, Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney and Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness that Mr Callinan called Sgt Maurice McCabe a ‘kiddie fiddler’.

This took place after the PAC meeting in January 2014, in which Martin Callinan referred to former Garda John Wilson and Sgt Maurice McCabe as “disgusting”.


Superintendent Dave Taylor has provided the tribunal with a waiver of any journalistic privilege and is not claiming privilege over his identification as the source of any information to journalists relating to Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Similar waivers have been signed by Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.


Diarmuid McGuinness SC notes:

This waiver, and the similar waivers signed by Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and former Commissioner Callinan, have been notified to several journalists. The journalists named by Superintendent Taylor are Paul Williams, Paul Reynolds, Conor Lally, John Mooney, Michael O’Toole, Cormac O’Keefe, John Burke, Daniel McConnell, and Juno McEnroe.

In particular Superintendent Taylor reiterated in his statement to tribunal investigators that Paul Reynolds and Conor Lally would have received negative briefings by him about Sergeant McCabe.

Sir, the tribunal has also identified from telephone data other journalists that Superintendent Taylor contacted during the relevant period.

Arising out of its investigations to date the tribunal has now written to the following journalists: Sarah Bardon, Ali Bracken, Tom Brady, Jennifer Bray, Stephen Breen, John Burke, Paul Connolly, Dyanne Connor, Ken Foy, Fran Greany, Mark Hilliard, Mick McCaffrey, Juno McEnroe, Cathal McMahon, Emma McMenamey, John Mooney, Eavan Murray, Niall O’Connor formerly of the Irish Sun, Niall O’Connor currently of the Irish Independent, Mick O’Toole, Paul Reynolds, Joe Walsh, Debbie McCann, Alison O’Reilly, Paul Williams, and at a later date, Conor Lally, Daniel McConnell and Cormac O’Keefe.

In the first instance, the tribunal wrote to most of these journalists on the 15th of March 2017 and requested statements from anyone who may have information relevant to the terms of reference. Regrettably, many of these letters went unanswered.

Five weeks later on the 21st of April 2017, the tribunal wrote again to these journalists, informing them of the waivers referred to earlier and asking the following series of questions:

1. Can you confirm your mobile phone number and work phone number?
2. Was this number your mobile phone number in the years from July 2012 until Feb 2017?
3. Were you briefed negatively about Sergeant McCabe by anyone? And if so, by whom?
4. Have you any information or evidence about an orchestrated campaign directed by senior officers of the Garda Síochána, to discredit Sergeant Maurice McCabe by spreading rumours about his professional and personal life?
5. Were you contacted by Superintendent David Taylor in relation to Sergeant Maurice McCabe?
6. Were you briefed negatively by Superintendent David Taylor in relation to Sergeant Maurice McCabe?
7. Were you briefed negatively by Superintendent David Taylor in relation to Sergeant Maurice McCabe to the effect that his complaints had no substance?
8. Were you briefed negatively by Superintendent David Taylor in relation to Sgt McCabe to the effect that the Gardaí had fully investigated complaints and had found no substance to his allegations and that he was driven by agendas?
9. Was your attention drawn by Superintendent Taylor to an allegation or suggestion of criminal misconduct made against Sergeant McCabe in any respect?
10. Was your attention drawn by Superintendent Taylor to an allegation that the root cause of Sergeant Maurice McCabe’s agenda was revenge against an Garda Síochána?
11. Were you informed by Superintendent David Taylor that he was instructed/directed by former Commissioner Callinan and /or (then) Deputy Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to contact the media to brief the media negatively against Sgt Maurice McCabe?
12. Are you aware and have you any evidence of any attempt made by former Commissioner Callinan or Commissioner O’Sullivan or any other senior member of an Garda Síochána to discredit Sergeant Maurice McCabe by reference to an allegation of criminal misconduct made against him ?
13. Were you informed by a journalist or any other person of any matters referred to in the questions above?
14. Have you any knowledge, information or evidence relating to any of the matters above? 15. Have you any knowledge, information or evidence relating to any matters within the Terms of Reference of the Tribunal?
16. Have you any records (however made, wherever stored) of any communications from or with Superintendent Taylor or former Commissioner Callinan, Commissioner O’Sullivan or any other senior Gardaí relating to any of the above matters?

With a few exceptions, the journalists have either ignored these letters, or refused to answer these questions, citing journalistic privilege. Many of them nonetheless wish to make generalised academic arguments about the nature of journalistic privilege to the tribunal.

In addition…

Former editor of the Sunday Independent, Anne Harris told the tribunal:

In the years 2013 and 2014, matters raised by whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe, such as the termination by senior gardaí of fixed penalty points, as well as allegations of murder and abductions not properly investigated, came to prominence. From the first instance that the Sunday Independent began to report on these matters, certain journalists came to my office to warn me off Sergeant McCabe.

I was given varying accounts of an alleged case of child sex abuse by him, which was apparently being investigated. This was repeated several times by a very reputable journalist, one who had shown great courage in exposing incidents of corruption and terrorism. I made enquiries and was satisfied that the matter had been investigated by the DPP, and the complaint found to be without grounds.

The Sunday Independent continued to report on Sergeant McCabe’s concerns and the consequent treatment of him. In 2013, the allegation that Sergeant McCabe as a “paedophile” was stated in my office by senior executive from the wider “Group” editorial hierarchy of Independent Newspapers.

I am certain that a whispering smear campaign was being conducted and that the media were being used. The pressure on me was less about publishing the sex abuse allegation – it would have been difficult within the laws of libel – but had the clear purpose of discrediting him, and therefore censoring the issues he was raising.

Labour leader and TD Brendan Howlin also made a statement to the tribunal about a conversation he had with journalist Alison O’Reilly, then of the Irish Mail on Sunday.

Diarmuid McGuinness SC writes:

According to Mr Howlin, Ms O’Reilly informed him that another journalist, Ms Debbie McCann, had told her “that the Commissioner had given information to her claiming serious sexual misconduct on the part of Sergeant McCabe.”

Ms O’Reilly then informed Mr Howlin that Ms McCann described Sergeant McCabe in very derogatory terms following a conversation with Commissioner O’Sullivan and that these matters were being discussed generally in the Mail on Sunday office. Ms O’Reilly also told Mr Howlin that Superintendent Taylor and Commissioner O’Sullivan had both provided this type of information to Ms McCann. Obviously some of what Ms O’Reilly recounted to Mr Howlin was hearsay evidence.

…In response to Mr Howlin’s statement, Ms Alison O’Reilly sent a very helpful and detailed statement to the Tribunal which covers not only her account of her conversation with Mr Howlin, but also her knowledge of events from 2013 until the present as seen from the perspective of the media. This statement is of great assistance to the Tribunal and has opened up a number of avenues of enquiry. Some of the information is hearsay but is nevertheless helpful in identifying journalists who it appears have first-hand knowledge of who may have been behind a campaign to blacken Sergeant McCabe’s good name.

Journalist Gemma O’Doherty told the tribunal that she was:

Well aware of the whispering campaign against Sergeant McCabe and when I was informed about the allegations of child sexual assault against him, I put them to him. He immediately informed me as to what happened and when I did some further investigation into the allegations, I found them to lack credibility entirely.

It was in 2013 that I first became aware that Sergeant McCabe was being associated with an allegation of child sexual assault. Rumours about this were circulating in a number of Dublin newsrooms at the time. It is my understanding that a copy of the garda file concerning the allegations had been provided to Mr Paul Williams (Special Correspondent) by senior gardaí in Garda Headquarters and that was how ‘the word’ got out.

The fact that a Garda investigation file was said to exist and that it contained damaging details concerning Sergeant McCabe, gave the story certain credibility but knowing Sergeant McCabe, I was in no doubt that this was a malicious campaign against him orchestrated by certain people who wanted to silence him and knew they couldn’t.

I spoke to Garda Wilson about the allegations that I had heard concerning Sergeant McCabe. He was aware of them. He said that a number of journalists were on the story but that it was untrue. One such individual was Paul Williams. Paul Williams has significant garda connections which both he and [Independent News and Media] rely upon for exclusive information… It is my understanding that the same firm of solicitors represents Paul Williams, [Independent News and Media] and the woman who was purportedly behind the allegations of sexual abuse concerning Sergeant McCabe…

Rumours circulated that a copy of the garda file had been given to Paul Williams and that it revealed that Sergeant McCabe was under investigation for child sexual abuse… Garda Wilson also informed me that a reporter named Debbie McCann, who worked for the Irish Daily Mail and whose father was a senior garda, was allegedly one of the journalists that was putting the word out that Sergeant McCabe was a child sex abuser. He said that she called him a ‘paedo’.

Readers will recall how Paul Williams, in the Irish Independent, wrote a series of articles in April 2014 concerning the woman – referred to in the tribunal as Ms D – who was at the centre of an allegation made in 2006 against Sgt Maurice McCabe.

This allegation, readers will recall, was investigated and a file was sent to the DPP with the DPP subsequently directing that no prosecution be taken – with the observation that it was doubtful the allegation should constitute a crime at all.

In relation to this…

Diarmuid McGuinness SC writes:

Sir, in early 2014, some journalists sought to contact Ms D, at whose instigation is not yet entirely clear. However, Ms D engaged in contact with a journalist in relation to her initial complaint in 2006. This appears to have been as a result of an inquiry made by her father of her as to whether she’d be prepared to speak to a Mr Paul Williams. He in turn appears to have been nominated to her father by a friend of his, who is a Detective Superintendent in the gardaí.


Diarmuid McGuinness SC told the tribunal that of the 15 phones that are of interest to the tribunal – six granted to Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan; six to former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and three to Superintendent Dave Taylor – just four have been located.

Read the opening statement in full here


Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and current Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan


In The Sunday Times.

John Mooney reported on the protected disclosures made by Sgt Maurice McCabe and former head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor to the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.

He reported that retired High Court judge Iarfhlaith O’Neill, who has reviewed the allegations and given a report on the same to Ms Fitzgerald, had been given “conflicting accounts from key witnesses” including the Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.

Readers will recall how Supt Taylor has claimed that there was an orchestrated campaign, within the gardai, to destroy the reputation of Sgt McCabe.

Supt Taylor has claimed he was following orders from senior gardaí and that both the former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and the current commissioner Ms O’Sullivan knew about the campaign.

Further to this…

Mr Mooney reported:

A central allegation examined by O’Neill is thought to have concerned a text Taylor says he sent to O’Sullivan informing her a journalist had interviewed a person making allegations about McCabe. Taylor claims O’Sullivan responded to his text with a one-word reply: “perfect”.

In a statement to O’Neill, O’Sullivan vehemently denied Taylor’s claims, and pointed out the large number of text messages she got on various matters. The commissioner acknowledged she often responded to text messages using the word “perfect” or “thanks”, and described these as “perfunctory” replies to the large number of messages she received while a deputy commissioner.

The Sunday Times has learnt O’Neill also approached Callinan about an unsolicited approach he made to John McGuinness, as chairman of the PAC, in advance of McCabe’s appearance at a parliamentary committee.

Details of the meeting, which took place in a hotel car park in 2014, emerged after McGuinness claimed he had been given damaging information about McCabe by the former garda commissioner.

In a two-page letter to O’Neill, Callinan said he regarded media reports on what had transpired at the meeting as “hearsay” and asked that his constitutional rights be protected. The former commissioner also asked O’Neill for a guarantee his legal fees would be discharged.

New row over McCabe ‘smears’ (John Mooney, The Sunday Times)





From top: Car park of The Maldron Hotel, formerly Bewley’s Hotel, Newlands Cross, Dublin 22; the panel on last night’s Tonight with Vincent Browne and Vincent Browne

Last night.

On Tonight with Vincent Browne.

The panel included Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly; Irish Examiner journalist Michael Clifford; director of communications at Social Democrats Anne Marie McNally; and Gavan Reilly, of Today FM.

The show followed Noirin O’Sullivan’s appearance before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality on Wednesday, of which Clare Daly is a member.

They discussed the ongoing Garda whistleblower controversies and, in particular, the meeting that took place between Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in a car park on the Naas Road on January 24, 2014.

Mr McGuinness has told the Dail that, at that meeting, Mr Callinan told him Sgt Maurice McCabe could not be trusted.

The panel talked about what else Mr McGuinness claims Mr Callinan said to him, without detailing what was supposedly said.

Readers may wish to note that, on RTÉ’s Six One on Wednesday, Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan – who is also a member of the Oireachtas justice committee – told presenter Brian Dobson:

I have confidence in here [Noirin O’Sullivan] and it’s not my part to be an investigator on this committee, this isn’t an investigative committee, there’s a judge who’s been put in place, Judge O’Neill, to inquire into the protected disclosures that were recently made, that is an investigative process and there will be a report produced at the end of that process and if that report is critical of individuals in high places whoever they are, I won’t be shy, nor will other members of Fianna Fail be shy about calling on those individuals to take responsibility. But what I’m not prepared to do, is just to call for somebody to resign in circumstances where allegations have been made against them but there’s no findings. In those circumstances, I do retain confidence in the commissioner.”

Further to this, from last night’s Tonight With Vincent Browne…

Vincent Browne: “Among the rumours that I’ve been hearing over the last while is that a senior Garda directed by an even more senior Garda sent text messages to other senior gardai and to members of the media, making horrendous allegations about a whistleblower and that a lot of these top echelons of An Garda Siochana were aware of this and may even have encouraged this. Now, it seems to me, if this is true and it isn’t the resignation of the Garda Commissioner that would be required but the resignation of an awful lot of people at a senior level. Have you heard this?

Michael Clifford: “It’s more than a rumour. I mean, a lot of what you said is in one of the protected disclosures but, as you said, Vincent, if it’s true, the issue is can it be proven? Can it be proven to a degree that it would for example, an official legal figure, whomever would be willing, would be satisfied enough…”

Browne: “It could be proved to be true or not to be true because the gardai have capacities to examine text messages, as we found out in the Elaine O’Hara murder trial, for instance, and they’d be able to look back at the text messages and see…”

Clifford: “If they wanted to…”

Browne: “But, sorry, there is available, the expertise, to look back at text messages…”

Gavan Reilly:If the handset or SIM can be recovered which isn’t always necessarily a given.

Browne: “What’s that?”

Reilly: “If the physical phone or the SIM card from which the text messages were sent is available to you – which may or may not be the case.”

Anne Marie McNally:My understanding is that Keith Harrison is saying that he’s got evidence on his phone that will prove the allegations. But, if I’m reading it correct this evening, the judge that’s been appointed, according to the Commissioner’s testimony, he won’t actually have the power to examine phone records so I’m not sure if that extends to text messages but it would seem to be…”

Clifford:He’ll be able to request it…”

Clare Daly: “Yeah.”

McNally: “He should be, yeah.”

Reilly: “That’s part of the problem of the inquiry that’s been asked of Iarlaith O’Neill, that because he’s existing in a very legal grey area, where it’s all very ill-defined where he’s not acting in a judicial capacity, he’s effectively acting as a kind of wise alderman but he has no powers of compellability or inquiry, as such, so all he can really do is ask people to cooperate and if they do, then he’s entitled to come up with an opinion, as eminent as it might be but that he’s ultimately flying blind. He doesn’t have the powers to demand anything of anybody. So, realistically, the scoping exercise…”

Browne: “So what’s the point?”

Daly: “Well that’s the question, isn’t it. And I mean obviously points have been made by the two…”

Browne: “You’re aware of what I’m talking about…”

Daly: “I’m absolutely aware of what you’re talking about…”

Browne: “My understanding is that when a senior garda person got a, got this text message, the reply was ‘perfect’ which would seem to imply that that person, that senior garda officer was aware of the plan to smear the reputation of the whistleblower in the most odious possible way that you could think of.”

Daly: “At the heart of the protected disclosures is precisely that, that there was an organised and orchestrated deliberate campaign, authorised at the top, including the current and the former commissioner to effectively do exactly what you’ve said – to demonise, to ostracize and put everybody off this whistleblower so that he would be a person that nobody would want to touch or listen to and I mean media people would have got that information, obviously a lot of guards, but politicians did aswell. And, you know, whatever about maybe…”

Browne: “Did politicians get them?

Daly: “Texts, part of the allegations that selected politicians were sent these messages also..”

Browne: “Really?”

Daly: “And given that message which…”

Browne:Who were they?

Daly: “Well, I don’t know, I know I definitely wasn’t one but it begs the question that even if, initially, some people believed it to be true, as I’m sure some people would, when it emerged around the O’Higgins Commission and the evidence that emerged in that, whereby the commissioner’s legal team had been instructed to undermine the credibility of Maurice McCabe and question his motivation and all of that came into the public domain, why wasn’t that the trigger for people to come forward? And say, ‘hang on a minute here, there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye. A huge problem now with the inquiry is that the present whistleblowers, the serving guards, who were live, who made protected disclosures, under Noirin O’Sullivan’s watch, they’re allegations of mistreatment and bullying are not being included in Iarlaith O’Neill’s terms of reference…”


Clifford: “What would be very interesting in that inquiry is whether the chairman or the judge asks in somebody, for example, [Fianna Fail TD] John McGuinness, who may have something to say. And he’s nothing to hide himself whatsoever but he may have something to say in relation to his meeting with former [Garda] commissioner Martin Callinan and did anything transpire there that may be of any use to Mr O’Neill trying to get to the bottom of this issue.”

Browne:I think many of us know what John McGuinness says he was told by Martin Callinan.”

Clifford: “He hasn’t publicly stated it himself, I suppose for good reason, but he hasn’t. But I’m sure…”

Browne:It is truly shocking. It would really..absolutely shocking. I think if viewers knew what was said, what John McGuinness says was said, I think they would be appalled…”

Reilly: “To go back to the very last point though, what John McGuinness and his meeting with Martin Callinan in a car park somewhere on the Naas Road. John McGuinness revealed that, on the Dail record, he was in the chamber, when he was speaking under privilege but I think he’s repeated it outside the chamber since, that Martin Callinan told him Maurice McCabe was, quote, not to be trusted. Now if that, that in most people’s eyes I think would qualify as an attempt by the most senior garda in force…”

Browne: “Yeah, but if that’s all that was said, you might think, well, yeah, yeah, yeah, but if that was all that was said…”

Reilly: “Well is it tenable for the commissioner at the time to be intervening as he did to cast those kinds of aspirations on the character of Maurice McCabe as he was…”

Browne: “OK but if…”

Reilly: “And for his assistant deputy commissioner not to know?”

Browne: “If that was all was said, that Maurice McCabe wasn’t to be trusted, if that was all was said, you’d say, well, all right, it was, shouldn’t have done it and all that,  but my understanding is that very much more was said and of much more damning significance than that Maurice McCabe wasn’t to be trusted…”


Browne:If what we’ve heard is true, the damage that’s been done will be nothing to the damage that will be done.

Watch back in full here


Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness

Mr McGuinness continues to claim he did no wrong in secretly meeting Callinan and not telling anybody about it until now. Yet the Fianna Fáil TD accepts his information may have helped the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation into whistleblower allegations. His excuses for not coming forward before are less than convincing.

Is his decision to divulge the information now related to him not being reappointed as chairman of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee and being notably left off Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin’s frontbench?

Whatever about his role as a TD – only the voters of Carlow-Kilkenny can pass judgment on that – Mr McGuinness was negligent in his duty as chairman of the Dáil’s most powerful committee, which is supposed to be the taxpayers’ watchdog.

The public deserved better from the holder of that role. And these matters are more important than John McGuinness’s ego and attention-seeking antics.

Right so.

From an editorial in today’s Irish Independent.

McGuinness negligent as chairman of Dáil PAC (Irish Independent)

Previously: Better Late Than Never

‘We Are Part Of The Cover-Up’

Did The Editor Have His Points Quashed?

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 19.31.15
Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan

Commissioner O’Sullivan was not aware of any private meeting between former Commissioner Callinan and Deputy McGuinness as outlined by Deputy McGuinness in the Dáil.

In relation to whistleblowers, Commissioner O’Sullivan has consistently stated that dissent is not disloyalty and as a service we are determined to learn from our experiences. An Garda Síochána agrees that whistleblowers are part of the solution to the problems facing the service.

The Commissioner has recently appointed a Protected Disclosures Manager and an appropriately trained dedicated team will be established to oversee all matters related to whistleblowers.

Transparency Ireland has agreed to work with An Garda Síochána to help ensure protected disclosures and people making them are welcomed and protected in An Garda Síochána.

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan in a statement released this evening.



Lorcan Roche Kelly

You may recall the murder of Sylvia Roche Kelly.

The mother of two, from Sixmilebridge, Co Clare, was murdered by Gerry McGrath, from Knockavilla, Co. Tipperary, at The Clarion Hotel in Limerick on December 8, 2007.

McGrath was out on bail –  for attempting to abduct a child, on October 9, 2007 – when he killed Sylvia.

He was also out on bail for assaulting taxi driver Mary Lynch in Virginia, Cavan on April 30, 2007.

Further to this…

Sylvia’s husband and journalist Lorcan Roche Kelly spoke to Seán O’Rourke this morning about An Garda Síochána and his trust in the same.

Lorcan Roche Kelly: “I think the problem with Noirin O’Sullivan – this is nothing personal against Noirin at all, I’m sure she’s a perfectly good Garda – is that she is a commissioner that was appointed internally. She came up through the system that exists within the gardaí for the last however many years and it’s that system that has been the problem. So, to get that system reformed, I don’t think Noirin O’Sullivan should have the public’s confidence in being able to reform it because she is of that system. Like I think if you look over the border, what we saw in 2001 with the Royal Ulster Constabulary being completely transformed into the Police Service of Northern Ireland, it’s, I’m not saying we need to change the name of the Gardaí but it’s that level of reform that the Gardaí now need because they have resisted reform for so long that the reform, I suppose, the actions needed have built up to such an extent that we’re nearly at a root and branch level of reform.”

Seán O’Rourke: “Yeah but again that is very central to her whole approach and that’s what’s being seen now by the new Policing Authority. Was it not a good starting point in itself? I suppose it’s precious little consolation to people like yourself and the [Shane] O’Farrell family, for instance. The Commissioner did say, ‘we are sorry the victims did not get the service they were entitled to’.”

Roche Kelly: “Isn’t that the most mealy-mouthed apology. It’s like: I’m sorry your coffee wasn’t as hot as you wanted it to be. Like this is much more serious..”

O’Rourke: “Ah is it not a bit, and I accept now that nobody knows apart from you and your family the grief that you’ve had to endure but would you not give her a bit more credit it than that?”

Roche Kelly: “To be honest, after nine years and after the, I suppose, the stonewalling we’ve received over the years, it’s very hard for me to look at a guard and say, ‘ok, I trust your bona fides in this’. Like this apology came after the O’Higgins Commission, the apology, when the writing was so clearly on the wall that then, ok, now, an apology was necessary. So rather than making a fulsome apology, the apology was made as a press release, that I didn’t receive, I’d to go on Twitter and ask, ‘does any journalist have this press release so at least I can see it’.”

O’Rourke: “Have you had any direct personal apology yourself, from the gardaí?”

Roche Kelly: “Last week I had a meeting with some gardaí in Dublin with the idea of them outlining the reforms they’re bringing in. So it was, the idea of the meeting was to show what reforms they’re bringing in to show this won’t happen again, I think is where we are.”

O’Rourke:“And they clearly would have been senior. How senior gardaí were they? Was there an assistant commissioner or deputy commissioner among them?”

Roche Kelly: “No.”

O’Rourke: “And were you persuaded by what you heard?”

Roche Kelly: “Again, I’m probably the least persuadable person when it comes to Gardaií reform but no it was..no, I think it’s as simple as that, to be fair.”

O’Rourke: “And what would persuade you, Lorcan?”

Roche Kelly: “I think, in order for a reformed process to have credibility, the first thing you need to say is, ‘ok, the people that need to be reformed shouldn’t be the people that do the reforming’. Like, again, nothing personal against Noirin O’Sullivan, I’m sure she’s a fantastic person and she’s a very good guard, but in order to reform an organisation, you need to bring in an outsider. Like, say, in the corporate world, if you want to change a company, you appoint a new CEO from outside because you can’t appoint an internal appointment because, you’ll say, well that’s just going to be more of the same in the Gardaí. So the Gardaí, as an organisation, have to be beyond reproach and we have spent, I have spent nine years, the Irish media have spent the last month and a half reproaching the Gardaí, saying, ‘look this is where the problems are, what are you going to do to address these problems?’, ‘how are you going to address these problems?’. It’s a constant drumbeat of a question that is landing at the Gardaí’s desk and, in order to address those problems, they need to have an outsider come in. And again, to look at what we saw what was done over the border 15 years ago, so it is not an impossible task but there has to be willingness to do it.”

O’Rourke:To what extant, Lorcan, are your views informed by that experience, that nine years as you say, in the course of which you took a legal action which, I think, you knew would fail, seeking to get fuller information. And then you had the dealings with GSOC and you’re still not satisfied that there is sufficient accountability there clearly.”

Roche Kelly: “When I was doing the research, one of the interesting statistics from GSOC that I found out and you mentioned this yourself with the exoneration of the gardaí in Cavan-Monaghan at a previous report in 2011 was that the way GSOC works is that they can make recommendations for disciplinary action against a guard but they have no power themselves to implement disciplinary commission, that goes to a senior guard. And in 2012, the year my complaint came up, there was 5,600 complaints against gardaí. Over 1,000, I think it was 1,017 of them were put forward for disciplinary action. Of those 1,017, 69 resulted in some disciplinary action. So, if you’re a garda and a complaint is made against you there is a less than 1% chance of you facing any disciplinary action at all. Which, some people could say a lot of the complaints against gardaí may be spurious but I doubt 99% of them are. It’s the culture, and that needs to be highlighted, because it’s a cultural problem, rather than admit there are problems, let’s ignore the problem and move on as an organisation and to move on within the gardaí seems to me to mean, ‘let’s pretend none of this happened’.”


Roche Kelly: “When my wife was murdered, our daughter was in junior infants in primary school, she’s now in first year in secondary school. So her entire primary school life has been based on: where is the answer to these questions? And I haven’t found them. And the only reason that I haven’t found the answers to these questions is because I have been stonewalled by the gardaí. This entire, my entire thing could have been sorted out with two phone calls and a letter eight years ago.”

O’Rourke: “Did you get the answers in the O’Higgins report?”

Roche Kelly: “I got the answers, the factual play that I had known all along. It was, why had the gardaí not admitted that they had made a mistake here; why have they not come out and said, ‘ok, if we had done our job right, Sylvia would still be alive’ and here’s what we’ve done to address it. And like the O’Higgins report, again, ended with a kind of a thing that happens a lot in Ireland where there are systematic problems where many things failed, therefore no one should be individually held responsible. And if that’s the response of the O’Higgins commission, then the book for that has to go to the top of the organisation. And again, I’m not saying Noirin O’Sullivan is anyway incompetent or had any hand, act or part in this but if the organisation is fundamentally rotten or, I won’t say corrupt, but is damaged then it needs to be changed from the top down.”

O’Rourke: “And what about the fact that there was an open, international competition for the Commissioner appointment, after Martin Callinan resigned or was retired, whatever way you want to phrase it, and she came through that competition?”

Roche Kelly: “Again, I don’t think it’s the fact that the competition existed, I would understand that wanted a challenging position would look at the garda, the job of the head of the garda, and say that might be a bridge too far for me, to reform an organisation like that. But if there is an open competition then have an external candidate so internal candidates cannot apply for it because it is a situation where you need an external candidate.”

Listen back in full here

Commissioner ‘not aware’ of Callinan’s car park meeting (Today FM)

Previously: Better Late Than Never


Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and former Justice Minister Alan Shatter

Further to the O’Higgins Commission’s report being handed to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald yesterday, which hasn’t been published yet…

RTÉ reports:

The O’Higgins Commission of Inquiry has found that former minister for justice Alan Shatter took allegations of garda whistleblowers very seriously.

The unpublished report said he had very substantial concerns and had displayed active and personal concern.

Given that most of the allegations had been examined or were previously reviewed, the actions of the then minister were amply justified, it believes.

In relation to the former garda commissioner, Martin Callinan, the report states that clearly and unambiguously there was not a scintilla of evidence to support any allegation of any type of corruption.

The commission found that any aspersions on his integrity were unfounded and deeply hurtful.

It also said that exchanges between the garda commissioner, the justice minister and the Department of Justice were at all times professional and appropriate.

The O’Higgins Commission of Inquiry also found that garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe acted out of genuine and legitimate concerns.

It concluded the garda sergeant showed courage and performed a public service at considerable personal cost.

Report finds Shatter took garda whistleblower allegations very seriously (RTE)


90327678127 220 312

Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and PULSE records showing his penalty points for speeding terminated

Readers may recall how Justice Nial Fennelly noted in his report how former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan had asked a superintendent to dispose of 8 to 10 black bags of papers hours after he had stepped down, on March 25, 2014.

The papers were later shredded on April 14, 2014, according to evidence given to Fennelly.

As Callinan couldn’t locate his diary for 2013, the Fennelly Commission concluded it must also have been shredded.

Readers will also recall how Fennelly found that when they asked Callinan about his official phone, he said he didn’t know where it was. The Fennelly Commission made further enquiries and Fennelly was told by Assistant Commissioner Jack Nolan that the phone had been given to the gardaí, that the SIM had been removed and the phone had been returned to Callinan. Nolan told Fennelly it was his understanding the SIM had been destroyed.

Later Fennelly asked Callinan to look for the phone. In turn, Callinan looked for the phone, found it and gave it to the Commission. It had no SIM card. Subsequent to this, Nolan told the Commission that the SIM card actually hadn’t been returned by Callinan and that it had been cancelled remotely on May 30, 2014 as it hadn’t been used since April 16, 2014.

Further to this, John Mooney, in yesterday’s Sunday Times, made reference to Callinan and the shredding of his papers and diary.

He wrote:

“Fennelly made no adverse finding against Callinan, and did not accuse him or Garda Headquarters of destroying evidence, but it did make references to the various controversies which had beset the commissioner between late 2012 and early 2014. Callinan is likely to have sent texts and made entries into his 2013 diary about these events.”

In 2013, for example, the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) sent a file to the Department of Justice on Operation Castle, an investigation into collusion between the international drugs trafficker Kieran Boylan and gardai. It outlined how young criminals were set up for arrest in legally dubious circumstances while Boylan was permitted to import huge quantities of drugs. Callinan was among the senior officers implicated in the scandal, and was accused of blocking the Gsoc investigation for years.”

“In 2013 also, Callinan told Simon O’Brien, the Gsoc chairman, he was concerned about the information that The Sunday Times was publishing about sensitive investigations. This remark and other issues prompted the garda watchdog to hire Verrimus, a British firm, to advise on internal security in late 2013. The company advised Gsoc of “technical and electronic anomalies” that could not be explained, and raised concerns about the integrity of its communications system. The cancellation of penalty points also became a big issue during 2013.”


It was on April 19, 2013, that the Irish Independent published Gemma O’Doherty’s story that Callinan himself had penalty points wiped.

In addition, Gavin Sheridan, in yesterday Sunday Business Post, wrote:

‘Eleven years ago, in 2004, when the first report of the Morris Tribunal was published a specific criticism was made. “The destruction by a member of any official files after retirement…can never be tolerated…It should be made clear to all gardaí that such documentation is the property of An Garda Síochána. It does not belong to the member concerned,” Judge Morris wrote.’

Read the Fennelly report here

Previously: ‘These Things Haven’t Happened’

Fennelly Report: The Digested Read

Going To Work

Not So Fast


From top: Justice Niall Fennelly; Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, Brian Purcell and Alan Shatter; Attorney general Maire Whelan and Enda Kenny

The 300-page Fennelly Commission Interim Report.

Laden with contradictory evidence.

And a troubling lack of notes or meeting records.

The report investigated the stepping down of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in March 2014, following claims that Taoiseach Enda Kenny sacked him – contrary to law.

It was published yesterday evening at around 5.30pm just before Taoiseach Enda Kenny appeared on RTÉ Six One and told host Brian Dobson: ‘The charge made doesn’t stand up’

Readers will recall the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier on December 23, 1996 in west Cork and the two subsequent arrests of Ian Bailey in relation to her murder investigation.

Mr Bailey claimed the arrests and other Garda actions in relation to him were unlawful and in 2007, Bailey and his partner Jules Thomas instituted High Court proceedings against the State. This action was unsuccessful and a verdict was returned on March 30th 2015.

During the discovery of documents in this case against the State, in October 2013, it emerged that incoming and outgoing telephone calls at Bandon Garda Station, pertaining to Bailey, were recorded in 1997. Three conversations in particular – two between members of An Garda Siochana, and one between a Garda and a civilian, Ms Marie Farrell – were deemed to contain material which hinder the State’s defence in the Bailey case.

It later emerged that Bandon Garda Station wasn’t the only station recording calls.

Readers may recall how, on March 10, 2014 former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan wrote to the Department of Justice General Secretary Brian Purcell informing him of the practice of Garda station calls being recorded.

The letter requested Purcell to inform the then Justice Minister Alan Shatter of the recordings. In his letter, Callinan stated the Attorney General’s office was informed of the matter four months previous and that transcripts were forwarded to the Attorney General’s office and the Department of Justice.

The Garda Commissioner has a statutory duty under Section 41 of the Garda Siochana Act 2005 to keep the Minister and the Secretary General of the Department of Justice fully informed of various matters, including: “significant developments that might reasonably be expected to affect adversely public confidence in the Garda Siochana.”

However, Mr Shatter claims he was unaware of the letter’s existence until a copy was handed to him during a Cabinet meeting on March 25, 2014, 15 days after it had been delivered by hand to Purcell’s office on March 10.

Readers may also recall how Shatter was not informed of the stations’ recordings until March 24, 2014 – at a meeting in Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s office involving Mr Shatter, Mr Kenny, Mr Purcell, Attorney General Máire Whelan and Secretary General to the Department of the Taoiseach Martin Fraser.

Kenny sent Purcell to the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan’s home at 11pm that night.

The following day, on March 25, 2014, Callinan stepped down from his role after being in An Garda Síochána for 41 years – prompting Opposition politicians claiming that Kenny effectively sacked Callinan.

Only the Government has the power to remove a Garda Commissioner from office.

In April 2014, the Government appointed Supreme Court judge Mr Justice Nial Fennelly to lead a commission of investigation into the Garda tapes and tasked it with examining the circumstances of Callinan’s resignation.

The interim report from the Fennelly Commission was published dealing with two main items:

1) The furnishing of the letter dated March 10, 2014, to Shatter, and

2) The sequence of events that led to the stepping down of Callinan on March 25, 2014.

Evidence was received by the Fennelly Commission, under oath, from 26 witnesses. The initial draft report was delivered to 60 people who were identified or identifiable in the report, inviting them to make submissions. Subsequently, 20 submissions were made and ‘a number’ of amendments followed.

The Commission looked at the day-to-day communication between Callinan and Purcell from October 2013 and March 2014 and the report stated, ‘This was almost exclusively made up of texts and telephone calls.’

Fennelly found, between October 2013 and March 2014, Callinan sent between 30 and 40 texts per month from his phone to Purcell.

It also stated the Assistant Secretary in charge of Crime and Security in the Department of Justice, Ken O’Leary, was ‘almost always sent the texts as well‘.

The texts referred to breaking crime stories, such as drug seizures, robberies, assaults, shootings, knife attacks, murders, road traffic accidents and arrests, while some related to individual guards who appeared before the courts.

According to Callinan, he was made aware of issues relating to phone recordings in the Ian Bailey case ‘within a week or so of October 18, 2013‘ but ‘remained unaware of the existence of a general recording issue until a meeting with the Head of Legal Affairs of An Garda Siochana, Mr Ruane on 8th November 2013.’

On November 11, 2013, a meeting was held in the Attorney General’s office.

At the meeting were Callinan, Deputy Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, Ruane and Ruth Fitz Gerald, the Advisory Counsel in the Office of the Attorney General.

The report states that, during this meeting, Fitz Gerald was first briefed by Callinan about the recordings issue. She told Fennelly she advised Callinan to tell Shatter about the issue.

On November 19, 2013, Fitz Gerald briefed the Director General of the Attorney General’s Office, Liam O’Daly, about the recordings issue and, according to Fennelly, he gave a direction to the effect that the Justice Department be informed.

Ruane told Fennelly that at another meeting, on November 22, 2013, which involved O’Sullivan and pertained to the Bailey case against the State, Callinan stated, towards the end of the meeting, that he had no difficulty informing the Department of Justice.

In a handwritten note of the meeting, Ruane wrote:

“Comm has no difficulty with that & will inform Sec General.”

The Attorney General Maire Whelan told Fennelly:

‘My impression was … that the Garda Siochana were very proprietorial of their relationship with the Department of Justice and. .. my impression certainly would be that it would be not very well received if there was any intervention directly by my office.’

This was disputed by Callinan, who told Fennelly:

He had always assumed that the Attorney General’s Office would copy the Department of Justice with any advice given to An Garda Siochana‘.

Fennelly noted discrepancies between Callinan and Purcell’s version of events regarding who knew what and when.

Fennelly noted:

“Mr Callinan says that he did, in fact, report the matter around that time, in one or more conversations with the Secretary General of the Department, Mr. Brian Purcell. His evidence in that regard is disputed by Mr Purcell, who has no recollection of being briefed on the telephone recordings issue at any time prior to 10th March 2014. Mr Purcell goes further and says that he is certain that no such conversations took place.”

“Mr Callinan has not given any exact date or dates on which he says he spoke with Mr Purcell regarding the general recording issue. The former Commissioner has unavoidably laboured under the very substantial handicap of having no access to documents to assist him in his recollection. Against that, it is fair to note that he did not retain his personal documents.”


In fact, a lack of documents pertaining to Callinan’s evidence was highlighted in detail by Fennelly.

He noted:

“It has been striking how little documentary evidence is available. Important decisions were not formally recorded and were communicated orally. Such work practices make it very difficult to identify what decisions were made, by whom and for what reasons.”

Fennelly added:

“The Commission requested from An Garda Siochana all relevant documents, correspondence and reports relating to the matters the subject matter of this report and, in particular, sought diaries and personal notebooks belonging to the former Garda Commissioner, Mr Martin Callinan. Mr Callinan informed the Commission that he had cleared out all personal papers after he announced his retirement on March 25th 2014 and that he did not have any written notes to support his evidence, particularly in relation to informing Mr Brian Purcell, Secretary General of the Department of Justice about the issue of the telephone recordings.”

“Furthermore, assistant commissioner Jack Nolan – the liaison person appointed to assist Fennelly’s investigations – said, ‘I am advised that the then Commissioner, at some point in the late afternoon [March 25th 2014] went to a filing unit in the Conference Room where he kept personal papers. He asked Superintendent Walsh to get some black refuse sacks as he wished to sort through his files. Later still he asked Superintendent Walsh to dispose of several bags of personal papers. There were possibly 8 – 10 bags, filled to a few inches if (sic) paper in each bag and knotted on the top. Superintendent Walsh advises that he did not see nor was he aware of what was contained in the bags other than then Commissioner Callinan informing him that they were personal papers gathered over the years. Assistant Commissioner Nolan went on to say that the black sacks were brought from the Conference Room to the shredding bins, which remained locked until the papers were shredded on April 4th 2014.”

Fennelly went on to request access to Callinan’s mobile phone.

However, it found:

“Given the evidence that had been received, that almost all communication with the Department of Justice was through texts, the information contained on the mobile phone of Mr Callinan was extremely relevant. The Commission asked Mr Callinan about his mobile phone . He confirmed that the phone he used as Commissioner was an official phone. He said he did not know where it was…the Commission made enquiries of An Garda Siochana regarding the former Commissioner’s mobile phone. Assistant Commissioner Nolan said that the phone had been returned to An Garda Siochana by Mr Callinan, that the SIM card had been removed and the phone then returned to Mr Callinan. He went on to state that he believed that the SIM card was subsequently destroyed.”

“Following this information, the Commission again wrote to Mr Callinan and asked him to search for the phone. He found it and furnished it to the Commission but it had no SIM card in it and no information stored on it. The Commission wrote to Assistant Commissioner Nolan requesting details of how the SIM card had come to be destroyed and who had authorised this, as well as details of the policy of An Garda Siochana in relation to mobile phones once members have left office. Assistant Commissioner Nolan was originally of the view that the SIM card had been destroyed in Garda Headquarters but subsequently stated that the SIM card had not been returned by the former Commissioner and it had been cancelled remotely on May 30, 2014, as it had not been used since April 16, 2014.”

Following on from this, Fennelly issued a discovery order to the service providers for Callinan’s phone.

But it found:

“As a result of this order, a certain amount of meta-data was made available to the Commission but the contents of text messages were not retrievable.”

Callinan was able to furnish Fennelly with his diary for 2014 but not for 2013.

It was noted:

“Mr Callinan was able to produce to the Commission his personal diary for 2014, but could not locate his diary for 2013 and searches carried out by An Garda Siochana have also failed to produce it. If the former Commissioner, on retirement, was in a position to take his diary for 2014 with him, one would have thought that he would also have the diary that related to 2013. However, Mr Callinan has been unable to find it, in spite of several requests from the Commission. If, on the contrary, the former Commissioner’s 2013 diary remained at Garda Headquarters, it might have been expected that it would be carefully preserved in circumstances where the Government announced the establishment of a Commission of Investigation on the very day of the Commissioner’s retirement. It must be presumed that the diary for 2013 was included in the bags of “personal papers” that were shredded following Mr Callinan’s departure.”

As for the diary of 2014, Fennelly noted two entries of interest:

• On 7th January 2014 , Mr Callinan wrote: “Meeting Sec. Gen here on Thursday [January 9] c 10am – update him on Murders, phone recordings , Bailey etc.”

• On 10th March 2014 , Mr Callinan wrote: “Letter to Sec Gen by hand – Update on phone recordings @ Stations.”

Curiously, Fennelly noted that Callinan didn’t bring these entries to the attention of Fennelly and that he ‘appeared unaware of their existence until the Commission asked him to comment on them.’

In regards to the meeting on Thursday, January 9, Fennelly noted that neither Callinan nor Purcell could recall the meeting.

Fennelly also issued a discovery order to Callinan’s mobile phone service provider. However…

“[The discovery order] allowed the Commission to obtain and examine records of telephone calls made between the Commissioner and Mr Purcell, as well as calls between their respective offices; but, in circumstances where Mr Callinan has not been able to specify with certainty the dates on which he believes he spoke with Mr Purcell about the recording issue, these records are of limited assistance.”

The Department of Justice provided Fennelly with copies of text messages sent between Callinan and Purcell between October 2013 and March 2014 from Purcell’s phone and they yielded no mention of the Garda tapes.

However, after obtaining all available records of phone calls between October 1, 2013 and March 25, 2014 – between Callinan and Purcell – a call lasting 7 minutes and 25 seconds long was recorded as having taken place on November 13, 2013, from the Justice Department to the Commissioner’s office. Callinan told Fennelly he believed it was during this call that he told Purcell about the Garda tapes issue. The record of this call was in records provided by the Department of Justice but not in those of An Garda Síochána.

Another call on November 26, 2013 – from Purcell’s office to Callinan’s office, lasting 17 minutes and 28 seconds – was recorded. Callinan told Fennelly he believed this was the second time he spoke to Purcell about the recording issue. No note or other written record of the content of these telephone conversations has been found.

In conclusion on the question of whether Callinan told Purcell prior to March 10, 2014, largely based on the two diary entries that Callinan didn’t make Fennelly aware of and the 17 minute and 28 second phone call of November 26, 2013, Fennelly found:

‘The Commission accepts that some verbal report of a general kind was made, but it was not of such significance as to make any real impact on Mr Purcell. It is significant that Mr Callinan agrees that he did not ask Mr Purcell to inform the Minister.’

It added:

‘Such a verbal report did not comply with the Commissioner ‘s obligation to keep the Secretary General and the Minister “fully informed” as required by s. 41 of the Garda Siochana Act 2005.’

In its investigation of why Shatter did not receive Callinan’s letter of March 10 until March 25, Fennelly noted that Shatter was just after returning home from Mexico on the morning of Friday, March 21, 2014.

At lunchtime on that day, the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Justice Michael Flahive attended a meeting with Shatter for 90 minutes. During the meeting, the matter of the Garda tapes nor the letter of March 10 ever arose.

Fennelly noted:

‘The Assistant Secretary of the Department of Justice, Michael Flahive, who was in charge of this issue in the absence of the Secretary General, Mr Purcell, continued to believe that the Minister had, in fact, been informed of the letter… Mr Shatter, in his evidence to the Commission, made pointed comment on Mr Flahive’ s failure to mention the letter of 10th March 2014 at a meeting which largely concerned An Garda Siochana. Mr Flahive, in his evidence, reiterated that he was working under the assumption that the Minister was aware of it, because he thought that Mr Purcell would have informed him.’

Later that day, Flahive received a voicemail from Mr Liam O’Daly, Director General of the Office of the Attorney General, asking him to ring him.

Fennelly found:

“Mr O’Daly asked Mr Flahive whether the Minister for Justice had been fully briefed, both in relation to the Bailey situation and the more general recording issue. According to Mr O’Daly, Mr Flahive assured him that the Minister was fully briefed up. Mr Flahive agreed that he had conveyed to Mr O’Daly that the Minister was aware of both the Bailey and the general recording issues. Mr Flahive gave these assurances based solely on his mistaken belief, perhaps more accurately, his assumption that the Secretary General of the Department, Mr Purcell, had given the Garda Commissioner’s letter of 10th March to the Minister for Justice.”

Fennelly noted that while Flahive was of the understanding that Shatter had received the letter, the call from O’Daly prompted him to think the Attorney General had serious concerns about the matter.

Fennelly found:

“Flahive told the Commission that he had a distinct memory of sitting at his desk for maybe 30 seconds or so, thinking whether he would ring the Minister. He decided that he would. This telephone call has presented the Commission with one of its most difficult and challenging issues. Two persons of distinction have given directly contradictory versions of the facts. Since the credibility of each of these persons is in issue, the Commission has treated it with great care.”

“At first, the Minister for Justice’s private secretary could not put Mr Flahive through, as the Minister was on another call, but he soon called back and put the call through. Firstly, Mr Flahive asked the Minister if he was aware of the issue of the general system of recording calls from certain Garda Stations. The Minister said that he was not. Mr Flahive was surprised, given his belief that the Minister had received the letter of 10th March 2014. Mr Flahive said that he “straight away realised that the Minister didn’t know anything about this. ” He said that he explained the matter as succinctly as he could, but does not think he mentioned the letter itself. In fact, he did not have the letter in front of him. Mr Flahive gave the following account in his written statement to the Commission:-

“I then advised the Minister of the essence of the letter from the Garda Commissioner, namely of the discovery, in the context of the Ian Bailey case, of a general system of recording of phone calls to and from certain Garda stations, that the practice had been stopped by the Garda Commissioner in November 2013, that the Commissioner was consulting the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner on how best to deal with the recordings which had been retained, that the Attorney General was personally greatly concerned at the emergence of the practice, that the Attorney General was likely to raise this matter at Cabinet, and that Mr O’Daly intended to meet the Secretary General and me on Monday to discuss the matter. I indicated to the Minister that he would be updated on the outcome of that meeting .”

Mr Flahive has told the Commission that he was absolutely categoric that he “explained the entirety of the substance of the letter from the Commissioner”. As stated however, he did not have the letter with him. Nor did he tell the Minister about it.’

Shatter told Fennelly that Flahive never mentioned the letter in his phonecall – matching the evidence of Flahive in that regard.

However, Shatter also said Flahive ‘did not brief him about the existence of the tapes or the Attorney General ‘s concerns.’

In a written submission to Fennelly, Shatter said:

“I can categorically state that Michael Flahive did not raise any issue that caused alarm bells to ring with me – which a full account of the contents of the Garda Commissioner’s letter and the Attorney General ‘s level of concern as expressed by Liam O’Daly would certainly have done.”

Similar to the discrepancies between Purcell and Callinan’s evidence, Fennelly found that of Shatter and Flahive were also at odds:

Mr Flahive reiterated in his evidence that he was one hundred per cent sure of it, that he had not the slightest doubt about it, the conversation took place exactly in the way he had described it. Mr Shatter was equally categorical that he was not briefed by Mr Flahive in the manner described by him.”

On March 26, Flahive became aware that Shatter was going to tell the Dáil that he first learned of the Garda tapes on March 24 and that he wasn’t going to tell the Dáil that Flahive called him on March 21.

After speaking with Purcell about his concerns, Fennelly noted,

“Mr Flahive prepared an aide-memoire [on March 26, 2014] which was handwritten on an A4 sheet of paper. It stated:- “Spoke to Sec Gen this morning about sentence in Minister ‘s Dail statement for today to the effect that the first he heard of the existence of a general system of recordings of phone calls to and from Garda stations was on Monday of this week (24 March) and that he did not get a copy of the Commissioner ‘s letter of 10 March until Tuesday (25 March). I reminded Sec Gen that, after speaking to Liam O’Daly, who impressed upon me the importance of the Minister being briefed on this, I had rung the Minister on Friday afternoon (21 March) at around 4.30, and advised him of the discovery of the general system, having first checked with him whether he knew about it (which he didn’t). Sec Gen said that he had this morning raised this with Minister, but the Minister said that he had no recollection of the phone call.”‘

In addition, Flahive also told Fennelly that he informed four colleagues in the Department of Justice of his call to Shatter on Friday, March 21 and that each of these people confirmed this in writing to Fennelly.

On this matter, Fennelly concluded:

“The Commission considers it likely that Mr Flahive did make some mention of the fact that the Attorney General had concerns about the recording issue. However… it seems likely that Mr Flahive did not convey any sense of urgency about the matter in his telephone conversation with the Minister… The Commission is completely satisfied that the Minister acted genuinely as having no awareness of the general recording issue until the evening of Monday , 24th of March 2014.”

In relation to the Attorney General Máire Whelan, she met with Kenny and Fraser on the evening of Sunday, March 23, to discuss the Garda tapes.

Fennelly noted:

“She has told the Commission that, to paraphrase her letter of 5th May 2015, her office was not in possession of sufficient facts to be able to advise. As she said, the ”people in possession of all the information about the circumstances were An Garda Siochana “. In these circumstances, it is surprising that the Attorney took no steps to have contact made with the Garda Commissioner, in order to seek further information on the origin, extent and use of Garda telephone recording systems. After all, it was An Garda Siochana that was seeking advice from the Attorney General’s Office. It is difficult to see how the office would have any difficulty in seeking further information from the body which was effectively in the position of a client. The Attorney did ask her own staff to obtain background information on the recordings which related to the Bailey case. However, as far as the general recording issue was concerned, she gave no instructions to seek further information from An Garda Siochana. Nor did she make contact with the Minister for Justice, who was the primary conduit of information between An Garda Siochana and the Government.”

Fennelly said, in her oral evidence, Whelan told the Commission that:

“…she told the Taoiseach that An Garda Siochana, a central body in the State, had engaged in an extensive practice for decades:- “of recording telephone calls in and out of Garda Stations in complete violation of the law, with total disregard for the requirements predating the 1983 Act [the Postal and Telecommunications Act 1983] of ministerial authorisation , in the light of the Kennedy and Arnold decision and the clear articulation of rights of citizens under the Constitution. .. ” So far as she was concerned, “this was criminal activity being engaged in by An Garda Siochana “. There was no lawful basis that she could find for such behaviour. She did not know what use the material was being put to. She “had real concerns about the rights of individual accused persons, detainees and telephone calls with solicitors”. If that were seen to have occurred it would be “a most grievous matter“.”


“On 22nd May 2015, the Attorney made a written submission to the Commission, with the effect of substantially modifying her earlier evidence of what she had said at the meeting . She now says that, contrary to the evidence given by her at her first hearing by the Commission, she did not convey an unequivocal view to the Taoiseach “as to whether any individual or body had been guilty of criminal activity.”‘

“In essence, the Attorney now says that, at the meetings on 23rd and 24th March 2014 , she had not given an unequivocal view as to whether any individual or body had been guilty of criminal activity. She apologises for having given a contrary impression in her evidence to the Commission and regrets that her “at times trenchant language ” had undoubtedly left the Commission with what she calls an erroneous impression that she had used such language at the meetings and, in particular , that she had used language alluding to criminal activity at the meeting with the Taoiseach and Mr Fraser on the 23rd of March 2014.”


“The Attorney denies using the language of criminality, at least in the sense that she did not say that any particular person or body had committed an offence. It is nonetheless striking that the Attorney General, on the first occasion on which she gave evidence to the Commission, clearly said that she had conveyed to the Taoiseach that An Garda Siochana had, for decades, been involved in a criminal enterprise . That would have been extreme language, if she spoke in those terms. The Commission respects the fact that the Attorney, in a careful and considered written submission, has now modified her evidence and has expressed regret for any contrary impression created. It accepts her qualification of her evidence, as far as it goes. However, it also notes that the Attorney’s initial evidence on this point was given in response to a direct question from the Commission as to what she said to the Taoiseach regarding her concerns on 23rd March.”

Fennelly noted that it was odd that neither the Taoiseach nor Whelan contacted Shatter at this point, given that O’Daly, the Director General of the Attorney General’s Office, had, just two days before, contacted the Department of Justice to find out if Shatter was ‘fully briefed’ on the issues. It also noted that O’Daly wasn’t aware of Whelan and Kenny’s meeting on Sunday, March 23 until after Callinan had stepped down.

On March 24, at about 6pm, Purcell and Flahive met Shatter to brief him on the Garda station recordings issue.

Fennelly noted:

“The briefing had not concluded when it was interrupted by a telephone call from the Taoiseach to the Minister calling him to a meeting in his (the Taoiseach’s) office. The Minister left at once. While it is not clear to what extent the issues concerning the telephone recording system had been discussed before the Minister left, it is clear that, once more, the letter of 10th March 2014 had not been mentioned by either by Mr Purcell or Mr Flahive before the meeting was interrupted.”

In his evidence to Fennelly, Shatter expressed surprise at Whelan for not informing him of the Garda tapes before she briefed the Taoiseach particularly given that they would have been in contact very often.

In response to this, Whelan told Fennelly,

“The Attorney, in response to this point, said that the Minister was, as she put it, ”part of the narrative “. She said, in her evidence:- “But there was also another reason [for not contacting the Minister], and that is, part of the issue involved the Minister himself. So, in addition to being the Minister seised with functions under the legislation regarding the Gardaí, he was also part of the narrative and there were issues, allegations touching and concerning the Minister himself personally …. So, he was very much directly involved but as a participator rather than as the line Minister” .”

In relation to this, Fennelly noted:

The Attorney’s failure to contact Mr Shatter is all the more puzzling, in circumstances where she had been informed that the Minister for Justice was “fully briefed” on the matter. Given that her instructions from the Taoiseach on Sunday night had been to “check and double check the facts” , it is somewhat perplexing that she did not contact the one person who, as she believed, was in a position to enlighten her. In addition, Mr Shatter, as Minister for Justice, was uniquely placed to contact the Garda Commissioner for explanations and clarifications. The Commission accepts that the Attorney was not under any duty to contact the Minister in these circumstances, but considers that it would have been both reasonable and prudent for her to have done so.”

As for Kenny, he told Fennelly he didn’t believe he was required to contact Shatter. He told the Commission,

“I wasn’t under any requirement at all to have the Minister attend at any meeting here. The Attorney generally apprised me of certain facts. I asked her, as was my responsibility, to have those facts checked and double -checked andfrom my point of view to get a written analysis of those facts so that I would be clear about what I was dealing with. So there wasn’t any requirement to have anybody else there while I asked the Attorney General to check what she was telling me and have it verified “.

The sending of Brian Purcell to the home of Martin Callinan was decided during a meeting on the evening of Monday, March 24. At the meeting were Kenny, Whelan and Fraser and it started at 6pm.

Kenny called Shatter to join the meeting at 6.20pm. Purcell joined at around 9pm at the request of Fraser. The meeting ended at 10pm, after which Purcell went to Callinan’s home.

So what happened at the four-hour meeting?

Who knows.

Fennelly noted:

“The Commission faces… a dual dilemma. Firstly, the participants differ significantly, on some points sharply, in their recollection of what was said, on some of the most crucial points. Secondly , nobody attending the meeting took any note or record whatever of its proceedings. There is significant divergence in the evidence of the participants concerning the absolutely central question as to the content of the message that Mr Purcell was asked to convey to the Garda Commissioner. The Commission asked Mr Fraser, as Secretary General to the Government, why there was no record ofthis important meeting and he told the Commission that the way the Government operates is that the minutes of Government meetings are limited to recording the decisions made . No minutes are kept of who said what at a meeting… Although a decision was, in fact, made at the meeting of 241 h March 2014, no record at all was made of what was decided.”

“It is agreed by everybody who attended the meeting that a decision was made to ask Mr Brian Purcell , in his capacity as Secretary General of the Department of Justice, to visit and speak to the Garda Commissioner at his home, on behalf of the Taoiseach. No note or record, of any kind, was made of what Mr Purcell was asked to say to the Commissioner. Regrettably , there is sharp disagreement between the participants at the meeting regarding that precise question… From the evidence given by Mr Fraser, it appears that the Commission must rely on the record of the Cabinet decisions of 25th  March 2014 to ascertain what decision was made at the meeting in respect of the Garda Commissioner. That record shows that the Commissioner had announced his retirement. It discloses neither the fact that Mr Purcell was required to attend at the Commissioner’s house nor the instructions given to him. Of these important matters, there is no record of any kind.”

It added:

“It is particularly unfortunate that nobody attending the meeting, except for Mr Brian Purcell, knew that the Commissioner had, fourteen days earlier, written formally to him as Secretary General of the Department of Justice, outlining the basic facts of the very issues which were the subject of the meeting. Unfortunately, Mr Purcell failed to mention this letter at any stage. Thus, a meeting which concerned essentially the Garda telephone recording issue, regarded by all as a serious new issue, so important that the Secretary General of the Department of Justice was to be sent to speak to the Commissioner late at night in his home, took place in entire ignorance of the fact that the Commissioner himself had already taken the step of officially notifying the relevant Government Department about it.

Fennelly’s summary of each of the attendees’ evidence concerning the meeting included the following:


“At some points in his evidence , Mr Purcell seemed to say that the Taoiseach was saying that he “would not” as distinct from “might not, ” in the situation envisaged, be able to express confidence in the Commissioner. After close questioning , Mr Purcell accepted that “might ” was the correct formulation.”


“Mr Fraser ‘s recollection was that the Taoiseach was very concerned that, were he to tell the Cabinet about the recording issues, that would aggravate an already difficult position for the Commissioner and the Government. He continued:- “And the question of whether he [the Taoiseach] could express confidence in the Commissioner in that situation (which was at that point hypothetical, but likely) was on his mind. He was also, and he said this several times, … very concerned that ifhe at any point/ailed to express confidence in the Commissioner, that the Commission er would presumabl y feel compelled to resign, That was supposition on his part , and he was very anxious about that respect. ” Mr Fraser added: “there was a possibility that the Taoiseach would not be able to express confidence in the Commissioner. “


“Mr Shatter did not recall the Taoiseach saying , as Mr Fraser had said he did, that “he was very concerned that if he at any point failed to express confidence in the Commissioner, that the Commissioner would presumably feel compelled to resign. ” However, Mr Shatter added that he was “sure that the Taoiseach was very aware of the fact that if at any time he failed to express confidence in the Commissioner the Commissioner would be compelled to resign.”


“In response to questions from the Commission about the evidence given by Mr Fraser in particular, the Attorney accepted that the Taoiseach was ”preoccupied” by what would happen when these new developments were brought before the Cabinet. She stated:- “The Taoiseach did say that he had repeatedly expressed confidence in the Commissioner, he did say that, yes … And the question of whether he could express confidence in the Commissioner in that situation was on his mind. He was very troubled. .. He was deeply troubled. I mean, he had indicated, without hesitation, given the gravity of the matter, that this warranted a Commission of Investigation. .. “


“The Taoiseach in his evidence referred, on a number of occasions, to the fact that he had previously and unequivocally expressed confidence in the Commissioner. When asked to comment on the evidence of Mr Shatter that, when the revelation of the tapes was under discussion, the Taoiseach said that the matter was very grave and that he would have difficulty in expressing confidence in the Garda Commissioner, he did not expressly deny having used those words, although he could not recall using them.”

In addition, former Tánaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore also gave evidence to Fennelly in relation to a meeting they had on the morning of Tuesday, March 25.

Fennelly noted:

The Taoiseach, according to Mr Gilmore , went on to say that, if he were asked in the House if he had confidence in the Garda Commissioner , he would not be able to say that he had. He added that, if he said that he had confidence in the Garda Commissioner on the Tuesday, and information relating to these tapes emerged on the Wednesday, he would then be in a very difficult position.”

In conclusion, Fennelly noted:

The Commission finds it impossible to resist the conclusion that, in some form, the Taoiseach did, indeed say that, putting at its lowest, he might, in light of an impending difficult Cabinet meeting, have difficulty in expressing confidence in the Commissioner. He did so in the knowledge that any equivocation in his expression of confidence was problematic for the Commissioner.”

As for what Purcell was instructed to do, Fennelly was, again, at odds – a situation, it noted, was compounded by the absence of notes or a record of what was said.

It found:

“There is sharp controversy as to the substance of the message which Mr Purcell was instructed to impart to the Commissioner. In brief summary, Mr Purcell says that he was asked to convey to Mr Callinan the gravity with which the Taoiseach viewed the matter of the Garda telephone recording systems and to ask him to consider the situation. This view is largely supported by Mr Shatter and, effectively, by Mr Fraser. The Attorney General and the Taoiseach, on the other hand, say that Mr Purcell, while conveying the gravity of the Taoiseach’s concerns, was also asked to obtain the views of the Commissioner.”

It added:

“In summary, each of [their] statements says that Mr Purcell was to convey to the Garda Commissioner the gravity with which the Taoiseach viewed the matter or, as it was expressed in some cases, the Taoiseach’s concerns. In that, the five statements are entirely consistent. Mr Fraser, Mr Purcell and the Attorney General speak of “gravity” or “grave concerns. “‘


If an important component of Mr Purcell’s instructions was that he was to obtain any response, whether in the form of information or views, it is most surprising that none of these five, carefully prepared, written statements says so. It would be extraordinary if an essential component of Mr Purcell’s instructions was omitted by all five such able and experienced politicians and civil servants . This cannot have been accidental.”

In relation to the idea that the Callinan’s position was at issue, Fennelly noted:

“Mr Fraser said in his written statement that the possibility of the dismissal or removal of the Garda Commissioner from his post was not discussed. That evidence was not contested by anyone.”

However, Fennelly stated that in giving evidence, Shatter said:

“The intent of a message going to the Commissioner that indicated very clearly to him that his position was in great difficulty or that he should consider his position.”

In a handwritten note in his diary, written the morning after the visit from Purcell, Callinan wrote:

“BP [Brian Purcell] rang – said he wanted to see me. Sent by Taoiseach , briefed by AG taped telephone calls to Stations etc. – treating the matter very seriously. Putting on Cabinet Agenda next morning will announce Commission of Investigation . Taoiseach unsure how cabinet would receive news. Wanted me aware. I asked – was it perceived I had done something wrong and was assured that was not the case (BP’s conversation with MF). Failed to understand the need for visit!! I asked did the Taoiseach believe I had something to do with setting up recording on non 999 telephone calls – shook his head and said that was not mentioned to him. I asked was it the case that the Govt. did not have confidence in me as Cr. – Sec Gen said there was to be a meeting early the next morning in advance of Cabinet meeting where matter would be discussed – not told who was attending the meeting. Took it visit from Sec Gen meant I was to consider my position, that being the case, I wanted some time to announce my retirement- said I would ring him in the morning. I rang Sec Gen shortly after leaving my house- expressed a desire to retire on 23/5/14 having served 41 years in AGS.”

Callinan also told Fennelly:

“I want to be very clear, there was absolutely no options put on the table to me… I was left in no doubt what I had to do then that evening. I was left in absolutely no doubt.”

Among his overall conclusions, Fennelly found:

The event which precipitated the Commissioner ‘s decision to retire on 25th March 2014 was the visit of the Secretary General of the Department of Justice to his home late on the night of Monday 24th March, to inform him that the Taoiseach regarded matters involving Garda telephone recording as very grave.”

“The events leading up to the retirement of the Garda Commissioner were beset by serious information deficits and multiple failures of communication.”

There was no question at the meeting on 24th March of any proposal being made that the Government consider the removal of the Commissioner from office. The Commission accepts that the Taoiseach did not intend to put pressure on the Garda Commissioner to retire.”

It was, however, the Taoiseach who made the decision to instruct the Secretary General of the Department of Justice to visit the Commissioner at his home, late at night and to inform him that he considered the matters involving Garda telephone recording systems to be a matter of the utmost gravity.”

The Commission finds that the Taoiseach did not instruct Mr Purcell to obtain the views of the Commissioner on any particular questions; nor did the Taoiseach invite the Commissioner to contact him.”

“Mr Purcell was, at least implicitly, instructed to tell the Commissioner that the matter of the Garda telephone recording systems would be discussed at Cabinet on the following day, that the Taoiseach would be proposing the appointment of a Commission of Investigation and that there was a possibility that he, the Taoiseach , would be in a position where he might not be able to express continued confidence in the Commissioner.”

“Although the Commissioner was conscious of other recent events which had resulted in controversy for himself and for An Garda Siochana, the immediate catalyst for his decision to retire was the visit of the Secretary General of the Department of Justice to his home, and the message that was conveyed to him from the Taoiseach during that visit.”

Read the report in full here

Previously: It Wasn’t Me

The Thin Blue Timeline [Updated]


Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan

The Irish Examiner reports:

“The report into the resignation of Martin Callinan as Garda Commissioner has been delayed indefinitely.”

“Former Supreme Court justice Nial Fennelly says he cannot proceed with his report because of the Ian Bailey case.”

“In a letter to the Taoiseach, Justice Fennelly says that case is “inextricably linked” to the secret Garda recordings which caused Mr Callinan to resign.”

Report into Garda Commissioner’s resignation postponed indefinitely (Irish Examiner)

Previously: The Thin Blue Timeline [Updated]

Not So Fast

‘In The Event Of Any Further Disclosures’

Knowing All This They Did Nothing


Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, top, and PULSE records showing his penalty points for speeding terminated

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

Objection Overruled

Commissioner had penalty points erased while on duty (Gemma O’Doherty, Irish Independent, April 19, 2013)

Transcript via Kildare Street

Photocall Ireland