Cooke report on alleged bugging of GSoc received, says Kenny

Taoiseach refuses comment on claim that Kenny sought to fire ex-Garda chief in March

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  with John Hinshaw (right), executive vice-president of technology and operations for Hewlett Packard, and Martin Murphy, managing director of Hewlett Packard Ireland, at the company’s headquarters office in Palo Alto, California, yesterday.  Photograph: Josh Edelson/IDA Ireland/Reuters

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with John Hinshaw (right), executive vice-president of technology and operations for Hewlett Packard, and Martin Murphy, managing director of Hewlett Packard Ireland, at the company’s headquarters office in Palo Alto, California, yesterday. Photograph: Josh Edelson/IDA Ireland/Reuters

Fri, Jun 6, 2014, 21:47

The Department of the Taoiseach has received the report of retired High Court Judge John Cooke into the alleged bugging of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSoc), Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

Speaking on a trade mission to California, Mr Kenny said his department had received the report, commissioned by the Government in February, in his absence and that he will not be able to read it until he returns to Ireland this weekend.

“I want to see it and read it obviously,” he said. “I will say that I will see that it is deliberated on by Government in the shortest time and published, as I have given a commitment to do already.”

The Taoiseach declined to comment on the accusation of Labour leadership contender and Minister of State for Health Alex White that Mr Kenny looked to fire Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in March in response to the Garda bugging scandal and that the Taoiseach had not given the then Labour leader Eamon Gilmore any advance notice of this.

Mr Kenny refused to comment on Mr White or Labour deputy leader Joan Burton, as they are involved in a contest for the Labour leadership and that was “a matter exclusively for the Labour Party”.

“I am not going to comment upon somebody who is involved in a leadership contest of a party,” he said, speaking after meeting senior executives at the head office of internet company Google in Mountain View near San Francisco in California.

He declined to comment further on the circumstances surrounding the departure of the former Garda commissioner. “I have said my piece on this on the public record of the Dáil, where it should be. I had a responsibility and a duty to see that the consequences of the information brought to my attention by the Attorney General was brought to the notice of the then Garda commissioner,” he said.

Mr Kenny repeated that he told the Dáil he had concerns and anxieties about the information given to him by the Attorney General over the recording of telephone calls in and out of Garda stations that should be brought to the commissioner’s attention.ends

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said there was now an “urgent need” for Mr Kenny to give a full account of the events leading to Mr Callinan’s departure. “Minister Alex White’s extremely belated concern about the seriousness of these events is welcome - but it raises very serious questions for the Government.”

Meanwhile, Mr Kenny said he has spoken to Missouri lawyer Kevin O’Malley who has been nominated to be the next US ambassador to Ireland and that he looked forward to “a very active and energetic ambassadorship”.

Mr Kenny said he spoke to Kevin O’Malley, an attorney from St Louis, by phone yesterday, the same day he was nominated by the White House. He described him as someone who was “very interested in moving around the country” and who “knows Ireland well”.

“His people came from Westport in Co Mayo, emigrated to Scotland and from there to the United States, ” the Taoiseach told reporters in the US.

“He is a man who is very interested in taking up this position as ambassador and I expect him to be confirmed in the shortest possible time.”

Mr Kenny said that he wished Mr O’Malley, his wife Anne and family well in the new role.

Mr O’Malley was named as the US ambassador designate by the White House ending a 18-month delay, the longest ever, in the appointment of a US ambassador to Ireland.

The trial lawyer with almost four decades of litigation experience as a private attorney and federal prosecutor is a long-time supporter of President Obama.

Mr O’Malley contributed $4,600 to Mr Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, according to the US Federal Election Commission.

Mr O’Malley, if his nomination is confirmed by the Democratic-led Senate, will take up the role vacated by businessman Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers American football team, who stepped down as ambassador in 2012.