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Alex White

Alex White: Right now, a reasonable person could conclude that Kenny sacked Callinan

The Labour leadership hopeful tells the Taoiseach needs to give a full account of what happened in the period leading up to the Garda Commissioner’s exit.

Video / YouTube

Camera and editing: Michelle Hennessy/

JUNIOR MINISTER ALEX White has reignited the row over whether the former garda commissioner was sacked by the Taoiseach by saying a “reasonable person could come to that conclusion” based on what is currently known.

The Labour leadership candidate was speaking to today when he restated his call for Enda Kenny to provide a full account of the events leading up to retirement of Martin Callinan on 25 March.

White suggested earlier this month in a letter to Labour members that Kenny fired Martin Callinan but later appeared to backtrack.

The Dublin South TD stressed that while it was “impossible to make a final judgement” on exactly what happened “it certainly looks to me that there was a certain train of events that day”.

He explained: “I mean the Commissioner was in office on the Monday and wasn’t on the Tuesday and the only intervening event was the visit that he had from the secretary general of the Department of Justice.”

IMAG0578 (1) Alex White speaking to at our offices in Dublin today Paul Hosford / Paul Hosford / /

Callinan retired as Garda Commissioner on 25 March, the morning after a late-night visit by the Department of Justice secretary general Brian Purcell who had been instructed by the Taoiseach to convey the gravity of how he felt about revelations of secret recordings at garda stations.

When it was put to White that any reasonable person would make the assumption Callinan was sacked, the Minister said:

“I think a reasonable person could come to that conclusion based on the facts that are available to the reasonable person at this time.”

White also denied that he was voicing concerns about this only now because he is seeking the Labour leadership saying he had raised it at the parliamentary party meeting at the time.

“I think a lot of people in the party and elsewhere were very concerned particularly about the fact that the Tánaiste does not appear to have been kept informed, wasn’t kept informed,” he added.

Tomorrow on More from our interview with Alex White where he answers your questions on cannabis legalisation, Labour mistakes in government and whether he has been hurt by leadership rival Joan Burton.

Read: Alex White thinks Enda Kenny fired the Garda Commissioner… maybe

Read: “You’ve some neck” – Martin calls for Kenny to admit he ‘fired’ Callinan

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