Report on Callinan retirement due early next month

Interim report of Fennelly Commission due to be sent to Taoiseach next Monday

The retirement of previous Garda commissioner Martin Callinan in 2014 caused political controversy at the time, and the Opposition accused Taoiseach Enda  Kenny of effectively sacking him. The Taoiseach rejected the allegations.   File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The retirement of previous Garda commissioner Martin Callinan in 2014 caused political controversy at the time, and the Opposition accused Taoiseach Enda Kenny of effectively sacking him. The Taoiseach rejected the allegations. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

The report on the retirement of former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan is likely to be published early next month, possibly as soon as next week.

The interim report of the Fennelly Commission, which deals with Mr Callinan’s decision to step down last year, is due to be sent to Taoiseach Enda Kenny next Monday.

Mr Kenny is the line minister with responsibility for the commission and, as such, he will be sent the completed copy of the report.

The publication of the report is a matter for Mr Kenny but it is understood he will have to consult Mr Justice Nial Fennelly, the chair of the commission, before final publication.

Taping of calls

The commission was established last year to investigate the taping of phone calls at Garda stations, but decided to produce an interim report on Mr Callinan’s retirement.

The retirement caused political controversy, and the Opposition accused Mr Kenny of effectively sacking him. The Taoiseach rejected the allegations.

A Garda commissioner can only be dismissed with the agreement of the Cabinet.

The interim report will also deal with a letter sent to former Department of Justice secretary-general Brian Purcell in March 2014 by Mr Callinan on the taping issue.

The Taoiseach has previously said he would publish the interim report when he received it. Speaking in the Dáil earlier this year, he said: “I have already said, on many occasions, that when I receive a copy of the Fennelly Commission report that can be published, it will be published in accordance with the law.”

Draft copies of the report were distributed to interested parties earlier this summer, with a period allowed for follow- up submissions on the draft findings.

It is understood a number of changes have been made between the draft report and the completed interim report.

Extracts of the completed interim report were sent to interested parties over the past week. It is understood they were given a number of days to respond.

Report hand-delivered

It is understood that when the draft report was circulated in June, those who were directly involved in the events leading up to Mr Callinan’s retirement were hand-delivered the report by a designated officer of the commission.

This group is believed to have included the Taoiseach; Attorney General Máire Whelan; secretary-general of the Department of the Taoiseach Martin Fraser; former minister for justice Alan Shatter; Mr Purcell and Mr Callinan.

The only person to receive the completed report before its publication will be Mr Kenny.

Informed sources have suggested he might have to consult the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Attorney General and others prior to publishing it.

The Fennelly Commission will continue its investigations into the wider issue of the taping of telephone calls at Garda stations.