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The Tánaiste thinks the Garda Commissioner should withdraw ‘disgusting’ remark

Several government ministers have now called on the Garda Commissioner to withdraw his remarks that the actions of two garda whistleblowers were disgusting.

Garda headquarters (File photo)
Garda headquarters (File photo)
Image: Photocall Ireland

Updated 2pm

TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE believes that Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan should withdraw remarks in which he described the actions of two garda whistleblowers as disgusting.

The Labour leader is among a number of senior Cabinet members to express such a view in the last 24 hours.

A Labour spokesperson said that the position of the party had been articulated by Social Protection Minister Joan Burton – she told The Irish Times that Callinan should withdraw the remark – and this view was shared by Gilmore.

It follows Transport Minister Leo Varadkar saying that Callinan should withdraw the remarks about John Wilson and Maurice McCabe in interviews yesterday.

Speaking on the News at One, Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte said he had always found McCabe to be credible and also said that Callinan should withdraw his remarks.

Gilmore also follows the Minister for European Affairs Pascal Donohoe, who added his voice to cabinet colleagues, calling the actions of Garda whistleblowers ‘distinguished’.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Donohoe said that he agreed with Varadkar, who yesterday said that the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan should withdraw his remarks about John Wilson and Maurice McCabe.

Callinan had said that the manner of the release of information by the two was “disgusting”, but has since clarified that he was referring to the release of personal information, not the two gardaí.

Donohoe said this morning that while he agreed with Varadkar that the actions of Wilson and McCabe were ‘distinguished’, he did not agree that Callinan should withdraw the remark.

“I believe they have been proven correct throughout the fixed penalty notice affair. I believe that they have done all of us a service, done policing a service.”

Donohoe said that the 37 recommendations for improving the Garda Síochána were the result of the two whistleblowers and he hoped that the recommendations would soon be implemented.

Earlier, Burton told The Irish Times that Callinan should withdraw the remark, made at the Public Accounts Committee in January.

She was joined by backbenchers Robert Dowds (Labour) and John Deasy (Fine Gael), who both agreed with Varadkar’s assessment.

- with reporting from Hugh O’Connell

Read: ‘We’ve been over this ground’: Kenny won’t say if Callinan should apologise to whistleblowers

Read: Varadkar says Callinan should withdraw ‘disgusting’ remarks – but gardaí say he won’t

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