Taoiseach 'did not know' what Callinan and Purcell spoke about
‘Obviously I am not privy to the content of the discussion they had and I do not wish to assume anything’
The Taoiseach Enda Kenny responded to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin on questions about Mr Shatter’s knowledge of the letter from Garda commissioner Martin Callinan about the systematic taping of phone calls at Garda stations.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny did not know the detail of the conversation between the secretary general of the Department of Justice Brian Purcell and then Garda commissioner Martin Callinan after he sent the senior official to express his concern about the tapes.
Mr Kenny said “Obviously I am not privy to the content of the discussion they had and I do not wish to assume anything”.
He was speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil. Mr Kenny had sent the department general secretary to the then Garda commissioner’s home, the night before he retired, to express the Taoiseach’s concerns about the taping of phone conversations at Garda stations.
Mr Kenny responded to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin on questions about Mr Shatter’s knowledge of the letter from Garda commissioner Martin Callinan about the systematic taping of phone calls at Garda stations.
The Taoiseach said the Minister “indicated clearly that the letter was not furnished to him, was not seen by him”, before Tuesday. “He was not briefed on the contents of the letter. He was briefed on the issues that had arisen, including the nature of the [Ian] Bailey case, which was quite explosive in terms of the content of those tape recordings.”
Mr Martin said the former commissioner’s letter demonstrated that it was hard to see what he had done wrong.
The Taoiseach also said “I should have been told about that letter, I would have assumed.”
The Fianna Fáil leader asked the Taoiseach to explain how the secretary general could brief the Minister on the matter on Monday evening without briefing him on the letter.
He said the only conclusion he could come to was that the commissioner had been scapegoated.
Mr Kenny retorted, however, that Mr Martin “does not want to come to any other conclusion”.
Mr Kenny said the terms of reference of the inquiry would come before the Dáil and all relevant matters would be included.
Mr Adams said the difficulty with dealing with all the ongoing controversies in the administration of justice was that “every day brings a new revelation”, including the taping of prisoners’ phone calls.
Mr Kenny repeated his comments that the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder case remained unsolved with a killer, “if he is still alive”, on the loose.