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”.
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