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Communications between Callinan and Shatter are 'of a confidential nature'

Yesterday evening the justice minister said it was the Garda Commmissioner who informed him that Mick Wallace benefited from garda discretion.

File photo of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan with Justice Minister Alan Shatter.
File photo of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan with Justice Minister Alan Shatter.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

IN THE LASTEST twist in the row between Alan Shatter and Mick Wallace, the justice minister has brought the Garda Commissioner under fire, telling the Dáil yesterday that it was Martin Callinan who informed him that Wallace benefitted from garda discretion.

In a special Dáil debate yesterday evening, Shatter said he was told about the encounter – in which Wallace was was stopped for driving while using a mobile phone – by the Garda Commissioner and that it was his “duty” to inform him about it.

A garda spokesperson told TheJournal.ie this morning that, in disclosing the information, the commmissioner “discharged his duties in accordance with the Garda Síochana Act”.

“All communications between the commissioner and the department are of a confidential nature,” they added.

However it did not remain confidential as Shatter revealed the encounter to the public on last Thursday’s Prime Time and last night he said that he was sorry if Wallace felt he had done him “some personal wrong by mentioning it”.

Mick Wallace, who also spoke in the Dáil last night, said Shatter’s disclosure of the encounter was a “politically motivated and personal attack”

He said the incident in Dublin last year had not even resulted in the exchange of any words with gardaí. The independent TD has lodged a complaint with the Data Protection Commission over the minister’s remarks.

Read: Commissioner told Shatter about Mick Wallace’s encounter with Gardaí>
Read: Shatter: I made comments ‘to defend the integrity of An Garda Síochána’>

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