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What was in Martin Callinan's black bags? Lucinda says a criminal probe may be needed

The Renua leader called the Dáil confidence debate “very disappointing”.
Sep 23rd 2015, 4:00 PM 14,315 35

IMG_20150923_104342 Source: Órla Ryan/TheJournal.ie

Updated at 4pm

LUCINDA CREIGHTON HAS said a criminal investigation may be needed to establish what was in the black bags outgoing Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan had destroyed when he left office.

Callinan had eight to ten bags of his personal papers shredded after announcing his retirement, according to the Fennelly report.

Earlier this month, Creighton wrote to current commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan about the issue.

The Renua Ireland leader says O’Sullivan has acknowledged receiving her letter, but not responded in detail. Creighton said she sent a reminder to the commissioner yesterday.

“I wrote the Garda Commissioner a number of weeks ago when it came to light that several bags of documentation, the contents of which we don’t know was destroyed by the outgoing Garda Commissioner – literally as he exited the building.”

We need to know what was in that. We need an investigation, potentially a criminal investigation, if that documentation was important state documentation. We simply don’t know.

O’Sullivan was asked if the gardaí would be investigation the issue when attending the Ploughing Championships yesterday.

“The interim report – and I think it’s important that we point out that it’s an interim report of the Fennelly Commission – I’m very conscious that the Commission continues its work and obviously we are fully cooperating and facilitating the Commission in their ongoing work.

“But the interim report is being examined and any issues identified in in will be fully addressed,” O’Sullivan said.

‘Punch and Judy show’

Creighton described the motion of confidence in the Taoiseach and surrounding debate yesterday as “very disappointing” and a “typical and predictable Punch and Judy show”.

She said it amounted to the government “avoiding the substance of what emerged in the Fennelly Commission” and showed the lack of accountability in Irish politics.

Creighton added that it was a “really grave” issue for Irish democracy that “demonstrated everything that is rotten at the heart of government”.

The motion was passed by 94 votes to 52 yesterday evening, with Enda Kenny reiterating that the Fennelly Commission report had vindicated him from any wrongdoing in the series of events that led to Callinan leaving office in March 2014.

Renua is calling for a number of reforms in politics including an hour-long open forum where, after Leaders Questions, the Taoiseach will be quizzed by deputies under a restricted time system, and a commitment to publish within one week various aspects of cabinet meetings, excluding issues that could lead to national security issues.

Read: Here’s what Noirín O’Sullivan had to say about her ex-boss and those black bags

Read: Micheál Martin says a gun was put to Martin Callinan’s head

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Órla Ryan

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