Revelations that the Attorney General Máire Whelan was recalled to the Fennelly Commission at least four times draws into question the events that unfolded during a crisis meeting at Government Buildings, according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins.
Deputy Collins made the comments following a series of media reports which cast further light on the chaotic scenes at a meeting attended by the Taoiseach in Government Buildings on the evening prior to the departure of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.
“Immediately prior to the publication of the Fennelly Commission interim report the Taosieach Enda Kenny was quick to lecture people how its contents had ‘vindicated’ him. However judging by the latest media reports it is clear that the Taosieach still has serious questions to answer regarding his handling of this shoddy affair” said Deputy Collins.
“It turns out that the Attorney General was recalled by Fennelly at least four times to explain contradictions not only with her own evidence, but also with the evidence submitted by others present at a crisis meeting in Government Buildings. It was at this meeting that a decision was made by the Taosieach to dispatch former Secretary General of the Department of Justice Brian Purcell to the home of Martin Callinan.
“It is worth noting that Alan Shatter, Brian Purcell and Martin Fraser were all in agreement that there was only going to be one result visiting the Commissioner in his home and that is his departure. This calls into serious question the validity of the Taoiseach’s evidence, which Alan Shatter has described as a ‘fantasy’.
“The fact that witnesses were recalled on numerous occasions clearly demonstrates that there were serious contradictions in the evidence provided by key players present at the meeting in Government Buildings. It paints a chaotic scene of management at the very centre of Government overseen by the Taoiseach, and calls into question the Taoiseach’s judgement when dealing with sensitive matters.
“It is blatantly obvious that Mr Purcell was dispatched close to midnight to the Commissioner’s home to tell him the Taoiseach would not be in a position to express confidence in him at a cabinet meeting the following morning.
“This extraordinary turn of events gave the former Commissioner little other choice but to leave his post. The Taoiseach shot down his request to stay on for a three month period, which shows us that he wanted rid of the Commissioner on his own terms. It is an extraordinary turn of events, and it is notable that the Taoiseach himself has failed to clarify these issues.”