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Gay Byrne: If Callinan had said sorry, this would have all passed by

The RSA Chairman said the former Garda Commissioner had ‘dug a hole and kept on digging’.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE CHAIRMAN OF the Road Safety Authority has said that the former Garda Commission could have avoided controversy if he had apologised for his remarks

Speaking to the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, Gay Byrne said his initial reaction to the resignation was one of “great sorrow”.

“He has done this state some service,” Byrne said, praising the the work of Martin Callinan.

However, he said that the controversy following Callinan’s remarks at the Public Accounts Committee would have not have occurred if he “had come out in the open” and apologised.

He is a victim of a question of judgement.

Callinan had been criticised for comments made at a PAC hearing in January, where he described the actions of Sergeant Maurice McCabe and retired garda John Wilson, who came forward with allegations of garda misconduct, as “disgusting”.

“It would have passed by in half an hour,” Byrne said, adding that by avoiding an apology the former Commissioner ‘dug a hole and kept on digging’.

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He reiterated that he found that the O’Mahoney Report “raised more questions than it answered”.

Byrne had last week called for the commissioner and Minster for Justice Alan Shatter to apologise to garda whisteblowers.

Reaction: Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has resigned >

Explainer: 6 reasons why Martin Callinan resigned as Garda Commissioner >

Previously: Byrne “always treated with respect” by Callinan >

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

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Nicky Ryan

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