Former commissioner Martin Callinan had multiple meetings at Garda HQ as scandals were emerging

Former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan held a series of meetings at Garda Headquarters over “several days last week” at the same time as two scandals in the force were emerging.

Independents4Change TD Mick Wallace detailed fresh internal Garda concerns over current commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan’s creation of a “cabal” of close colleagues to interact with the Charleton whistleblower smear campaign inquiry.

Speaking during a leaders’ questions debate in which he alleged the force was “falling down around our ears”, Mr Wallace asked if it was appropriate for Mr Callinan to have visited Garda HQ when several investigations were under way.

Mr Wallace separately hit out at Ms O’Sullivan’s decision to put in place a unit of “personal friends and associates” to interact with the Charleton inquiry into an alleged smear campaign against whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Citing the fact retired assistant commissioner Mick O’Sullivan, chief superintendent Brendan Mangan and detective superintendent Tony Howard have been appointed to the team, he said: “The minister should ask the commissioner did she consult with John Barrett at human resources before she made appointments. John Barrett wrote a letter to the head of legal affairs, Ken Ruane, pointing out the corporate risk to An Garda Síochána in setting up this unit, staffed with personal friends and associates.

“He suggested a firm of outside solicitors should be brought in, but was ignored.”

Responding to the claims — and further whistleblower allegations — Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe said on behalf of the Government that he is “clear on our overwhelming prerogative” of ensuring “the integrity of An Garda Síochána”.

More on this topic

Latest: Justice Minister wants 'skeletons out of all the cupboards' in An Garda SíochánaLatest: Justice Minister wants 'skeletons out of all the cupboards' in An Garda Síochána

Gardaí urged by Micheál Martin to produce evidence they were pushed to fake breath testsGardaí urged by Micheál Martin to produce evidence they were pushed to fake breath tests

Gardaí urged to submit information about false breath tests to Assistant Commissioner and Policing AuthorityGardaí urged to submit information about false breath tests to Assistant Commissioner and Policing Authority

GRA on false breath tests: ‘Our members will not be scapegoated for ill-considered policies’GRA on false breath tests: ‘Our members will not be scapegoated for ill-considered policies’


Lifestyle

Dave Grohl’s journey from the heartbreak of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain’s suicide to the stadium rock sunny uplands frequented by Foo Fighters is proof even the most anguishing stories can have happy endings.Foo Fighters impress in RDS show as Grohl's agonising story gets happy ending

We take a trip down memory lane and check out what happened on this day in years gone by by looking back at some Irish Examiner front pages and highlighting other events which went down in history across the world.August 22, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

More From The Irish Examiner