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The Taoiseach says he didn’t ask the former Garda Commissioner to resign

Martin Callinan ‘made his own decision’, Enda Kenny has said. Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil is tabling a motion of no confidence in Alan Shatter next week.
Mar 28th 2014, 1:15 PM 7,427 79

Updated 1.15pm

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said he did not ask the former Garda Commissioner to resign.

Speaking to RTÉ this morning in Castlebar, Co Mayo, he said that he felt it was important the details of the impending inquiry into the recording of phone calls at garda stations be conveyed to the Martin Callinan on Monday evening.

“The Garda Commissioner made his own decision,” Kenny said, adding that he only had the power to sacks Ministers or Ministers of State.

“I’ve been accused of doing things around this… the only people the Taoiseach can fire are Ministers and, with government approval, Ministers of State.”

Minister for Enviroment Phil Hogan, speaking to Ocean FM, has said the revelations about taping was “shocking” and added that “Cabinet didn’t expect to hear that information”.

The Minister added that while people might find it unusual that the Taoiseach and the Justice Minister didn’t know, that was the case.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin Martin has said that Callinan should not have resigned on Tuesday and should not have been put in the position he was by a senior official in the Department of Justice.

Martin was speaking as his party prepares to table a motion of no confidence in the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter next week.

The motion will be debated on Tuesday and Wednesday and will renew pressure on Shatter over the controversy surrounding he gardaí and Callinan’s resignation.

YouTube: TheJournal.ie/Órla Ryan

‘Nonplussed’

It is the second such motion of no confidence by Fianna Fáil, having tabled one last May over comments made by the Minister in relation to using “private information he received from the Garda Commissioner to undermine an opposition TD”.

Speaking at Leinster House today, Martin said of Callinan: “He should not have resigned on Monday (sic) in my view. We never called for him to resign.”

He said Callinan must have been “very nonplussed” by what he was told by the secretary general of the Department of Justice, Brian Purcell, on Monday when the senior official visited his home.

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny said this week that Purcell was dispatched to ensure Callinan was aware of Kenny’s “feelings about the gravity of the information” regarding the recording of calls in and out of a large number of garda stations across the country.

Speaking today, Martin said that Callinan “should not have been put in that position” by Purcell or the government.

On the motion of no confidence, Martin said his party was tabling it because it had come to the view that ”the public have lost confidence in the capacity of Minister Alan Shatter to administer justice in the Department of Justice.”

- with reporting from Órla Ryan at Leinster House, and Hugh O’Connell

First published 12.35pm

Nora Owen: If I was Shatter, I would be angry I didn’t get Callinan’s letter >

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Nicky Ryan

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