Miriam Lord’s Week: Kenny’s €2m memory loss

Tánaiste demands answers to mysterious Callinan departure

Taoiseach unable to shed any light on what he did a few weeks ago.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Taoiseach unable to shed any light on what he did a few weeks ago. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Sat, Apr 19, 2014, 01:00

What with the queen and everything, we forgot about the state of Enda’s carpet.

Back in January, he told the Opposition he had to carry out a major spring clean of Government Buildings when he first moved in, shocked to see the unmerciful mess left behind by previous administrations.

So he rolled up his sleeves and got stuck in. With the help of Eamon Gilmore and willing Coalition Ministers, they got the place sparkling again before moving to deliver on the great promises made before the general election.


Enda told the Sinn Féin leader the slovenly ways of the past would not be repeated by the new brooms from Fine Gael and Labour.

“We have had discussions and questions here over the past several years about what is different. Let me say to you, Deputy Adams, that, on coming into Government, many of the political carpets that have been lifted, many of the financial carpets that have been lifted in the past period, have been infested with maggots. Now, this Government is in the business of clearing up a legacy of untold proportions.”

White tie and tails

That carpet was like a new pin in the early days.

But it’s easy to let things slide and allow the housework get on top of you. And the rug is beginning to walk again. Enda hasn’t noticed the difference. Comfortably ensconced now.

While we were away, the terms of reference for the inquiry into the Garda taping controversy were announced. Supreme Court judge Nial Fennelly will also investigate circumstances surrounding the resignation of former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan.

There wasn’t much of a fuss when details of this inquiry were announced on April 8th. This might have been because Enda and Eamon were busy getting into their white tie and tails for that historic Windsor Castle banquet on the same day, while the media was similarly occupied with Michael D’s historic state visit to the UK.

A most unfortunate coincidence.

And events at the Anglo trial provided another distraction this week.

But the Tánaiste took the opportunity on Tuesday to demand answers to the continuing mystery surrounding the sudden departure of Mr Callinan from the force he served for decades.

He “retired” following a visit to his home from Brian Purcell, the secretary general of the Department of Justice, who made his ominous trip after a meeting with the Taoiseach, his top civil servant Martin Fraser, and Alan Shatter.

“The public is entitled to know the full facts surrounding the resignation of the Garda commissioner last month,” Mr Gilmore told the Dáil with a straight face.

But, sadly, the Taoiseach, speaking in the same debate on the establishment of the inquiry, still couldn’t shed any light on what he did a few weeks ago.

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