Fennelly interim report on Callinan’s resignation completed

Report is being sent to interested parties on Thursday

The Fennelly Commission is investigating the taping of phone calls at Garda stations and is due to produce an interim report on Martin Callinan’s resignation.   File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The Fennelly Commission is investigating the taping of phone calls at Garda stations and is due to produce an interim report on Martin Callinan’s resignation. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

A report on the resignation of former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan is being distributed today.

The Fennelly Commission is investigating the taping of phone calls at Garda stations and is due to produce an interim report on Mr Callinan’s resignation.

The interim report is being distributed to interested parties, such as Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Mr Callinan.

They will have a period of time to respond to Judge Fennelly before he publishes the interim report.

Mr Callinan’s resignation came amid a series of controversies surrounding the Garda and the Department of Justice that ultimately led to the resignation of Alan Shatter as minister for justice.

Mr Callinan resigned in March 2014, the morning after he was visited at his home by Brian Purcell, then secretary general at the Department of Justice.

Mr Kenny instructed Mr Purcell to tell Mr Callinan of the gravity of the situation regarding the taping of phone calls at Garda stations.

Mr Kenny stood accused of effectively firing Mr Callinan an issue that he has been under pressure to address.

A Garda commissioner can only be forced out of office by a cabinet vote.

Mr Kenny has argued that Mr Callinan retired and was not fired.

However, the Taoiseach has not commented on the issue as the outcome of the Fennelly Commission report.

The commission of investigation, headed by Mr Justice Nial Fennelly, was established in April 2014 to examine covert recording of phone calls in some Garda stations between 1980 and November 2013.

It was set up after it emerged that phone calls were taped during an investigation into the still unsolved murder in 1996 of Sophie Toscan du Plantier and that there was a recording system used in some Garda stations.

The terms of reference of the commission include establishing whether any telephone conversations between solicitors and their clients were taped by the recording systems in Garda stations.

It will also try to establish whether any information obtained was used improperly or unlawfully, particularly whether solicitor/client conversations were used for any purpose.

The commission was also asked to provide an interim report on Mr Callinan’s resignation.