Lucinda Creighton urges probe into file destruction

Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton has written to Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan to insist “potential criminal wrongdoing” involving her predecessor Martin Callinan’s destruction of files and a missing mobile phone SIM card must be examined immediately.

In a formal complaint made over the weekend, she insisted the issues must be investigated.

Two former cabinet members also said Mr Callinan has questions to answer over the revelations.

The interim report of the Fennelly commission, published last Tuesday, found that Mr Callinan took eight to 10 black plastic bags containing “personal” files with him when he left his position as Garda commissioner on March 25, 2014.

The items, believed to have included his 2013 diary, were subsequently shredded on April 4, 2014 by a junior member of staff.

The same report also found that a SIM card from Mr Callinan’s official Garda mobile phone was missing and believed to have been destroyed, meaning no records of texts or calls during the period can be examined.

Mr Callinan, who told the commission he regularly communicated by text, was initially unable to locate the phone, which was used until April 16, 2014.

Lucinda Creighton urges probe into file destruction

In the letter to Ms O’Sullivan, Ms Creighton said the issues and their occurrence at a time of turmoil in the linked political and justice areas, pose significant concerns.

She said the missing files must be immediately examined “to establish whether a criminal offence has taken place”.

“It is difficult to accept the failure of Mr Callinan to preserve his personal papers and SIM card represented anything other than a deliberate, conscious, and calculated attempt to conceal and obfuscate the circumstances of his departure from office,” Ms Creighton wrote in the letter to Ms O’Sullivan.

“In light of the findings of the Fennelly commission, in addition to the recent Guerin report, I believe it to be in the best interests of An Garda Síochána and the Irish public that any potential criminal wrongdoing on the part of members of An Garda Síochána is scrutinised.”

The move came as former justice minister Alan Shatter and ex-communications minister Pat Rabbitte said Mr Callinan has questions to answer.

Lucinda Creighton urges probe into file destruction

Mr Shatter told RTÉ radio that “the only person who can answer that question is Martin Callinan”.

Mr Rabbitte said the lost files have left him feeling “uneasy” and that they need to be examined further by the wider Fennelly report into Garda station phone recordings.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said on Friday the matter needs to be examined.


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