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Leaders' Questions

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 835 No. 1

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Leaders' Questions

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin The morning began with the announcement by Commissioner Martin Callinan that he was resigning from his post. I noted that with regret. He is a man who gave a lifelong commitment to An Garda Síochána and gave distinguished service. That should be acknowledged in this House. It is a very sad reflection on how the Government has handled this entire series of crises in the administration of justice that things have come to this pass. Commissioner Callinan played a role in bringing a number of significant criminals to account.

It is regrettable that things have come to this pass. The Taoiseach briefed the leader of Sinn Féin, Deputy Gerry Adams, and I on yet another emerging situation that goes to the very heart of the administration of justice and would appear to strike another blow at the administration of justice in this country. It relates to tape recordings of conversations in police stations around the country. As the Taoiseach's statement indicated, one of the matters is before the courts and we are not in a position to make further comment on the specific case. The latest case follows a range of other issues such as the bugging of the office of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, the undermining of whistleblowers in connection with the penalty points saga, the refusal to respond positively to the recommendations of the Road Safety Authority in that regard and likewise to the recommendations in the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the matter. Central to the entire saga was the status of whistleblowers and how they are treated by the Government. The Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Shatter, in particular, has consistently and with persistence sought to undermine the status of the Garda whistleblowers in the context of the penalty points saga - so much so that he came into Leinster House and said on the record that they did not co-operate with the O'Mahoney inquiry. That was a false statement and the Minister should withdraw it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The Deputy cannot make accusations of that nature. If he wishes he may do so by way of substantive motion.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin I am sorry. It was an incorrect statement and a wrong statement and the Minister should withdraw it. He should apologise to the Garda whistleblowers. On 12 March when Bryan Dobson put a question to him on the RTE news programme "Six One" as to whether the whistleblower should be put back on the PULSE system-----


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