MORE PRESSURE FOR THE GARDA COMMISSIONER
The Garda Commissioner is under more pressure to withdraw his comments describing the actions of Garda whistleblowers as “disgusting”.
The Transport Minister yesterday suggested that Martin Callinan should take back the phrase he used at an Oireachtas Committee hearing on penalty points.
Now Social Protection Minister Joan Burton says she believes it would be helpful if he did so.
Constituency rivals Leo Varadkar and Joan Burton are rarely heard supporting each other’s views; so some observers say her support for his call on the Garda Commissioner is significant.
Minister Varadkar yesterday said whistleblowers Maurice McCabe and John Wilson’s exposure of the penalty points issue was “distinguished” – and said Commissioner Martin Callinan should withdraw his comments describing their actions as “disgusting”.
And From Washington, Minister Joan Burton said it would be “helpful if he did” so – a view shared with many of her Labour colleagues.
Martin Callinan says he used the word “disgusting” to describe the way sensitive information was leaked to the public – rather than the character of the whistleblowers.
Sources close to the Commissioner say he won’t be withdrawing the remarks.
The pressure will now be on the Taoiseach to respond in full. Speaking last night in Brussels he wouldn’t be drawn on the matter – he says the recommendations from the Garda Inspectorate report are being implemented.