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IN FULL: Martin Callinan's statement on his 'decision to retire'

“In the best interests of An Garda Síochána and my family, I have decided to retire.”

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

IN A SURPRISE move this morning, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan resigned, with immediate effect.

In a statement this afternoon, the 60-year-old said he had decided to retire (not resign). He also made no reference to the ongoing whistleblower controversy and failed to withdraw or apologise for remarks made about former garda John Wilson and Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

Callinan was due to retire last August, on turning 60, but Minister for Justice Alan Shatter extended his term in office by two years, which should have seen him lead the forced until August 2015. However, there had been indications that he would call it a day later this year.

Here is today’s statement, in full:

“In the best interests of An Garda Síochána and my family, I have decided to retire. I felt that recent developments were proving to be a distraction from the important work that is carried out by An Garda Síochána on a daily basis for the citizens of the State in an independent and impartial manner.

“Having joined An Garda Síochána in May of 1973, it has been a great honour and privilege to have spent nearly 41 years as a member of this tremendous organisation, serving the people of Ireland.

Those nearly 41 years, though at times challenging, have been enjoyable and fulfilling. This is due to the standard of people I have worked for, worked with, and led during this period of time.

“The work I carried out throughout my career could not have been done without the support of numerous men and women, and for this I would like to thank all who I have worked with during my service.

It also could not have been achieved without the support of the many thousands of members of public who I have come in contact with and who I hope I have helped in some small way during my career.

“Since becoming Commissioner in 2010 I have never failed to be impressed by the dedication of all serving members and civilian staff even when they faced significant professional and personal challenges.

“The last four years have seen major changes in An Garda Síochána, which were always done in the best interest of the community for whom we do our job. Although some of these changes have not always been easy, statistics from the CSO have shown that they have resulted in a reduction in crime throughout the country. This change in delivery of a policing service has, I hope, provided communities and individuals with a sense of safety and security in their daily lives.

“I would like to thank the members of An Garda Síochána who I worked with during my time as Commissioner for their support and willingness to adapt for the benefit of the citizens of the State.

I have great confidence that the delivery of an excellent policing service by excellent people will continue as it has done since An Garda Síochána’s foundation.

“I wish my successor, current members of An Garda Síochána, and those due to join later this year my continuing best wishes and wholehearted support.”

Read: Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has resigned

VIDEO: Here are the comments that led to Martin Callinan’s resignation

Explainer: 6 reasons why Martin Callinan resigned as Garda Commissioner

Catch up: Everything you need to know about GardaGate in one place >

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