The McCabe affair: Six senior office holders now gone

Two further departures on Tuesday as the controversy continues to rumble on

The resignations and retirements so far:

Alan Shatter:

The former TD resigned as minister for justice in May 2014 after the publication of a report into Garda malpractice conducted by Sean Guerin.

The Guerin inquiry probed allegations made by Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe. A court subsequently found Mr Shatter’s constitutional rights were breached by the Guerin investigation, while the O’Higgins commission praises Mr Shatter’s handling of Sgt McCabe’s complaints.

Martin Callinan:

The former Garda commissioner retired in March 2014 after 41 years of service. This followed intense political pressure surrounding his description of two Garda whistleblowers as “disgusting”.

Mr Callinan was visited at his home by the former secretary general of the Department of Justice Brian Purcell. Exactly what was said is contested but according to one version Mr Callinan was told he might not survive a Cabinet meeting and he retired the following morning.

Brian Purcell:

Mr Purcell stood aside as secretary general at the Department of Justice in July 2014 after a report criticised the department for its “deferential relationship” with the Garda. He subsequently took up a senior role in Health Service Executive.

Noirin O’Sullivan:

Ms O’Sullivan resigned as Garda commissioner in September 2017. This followed a series of controversies surrounding the falsification of breath tests and the treatment of Garda whistleblowers.

Ms O’Sullivan’s approach to Sgt Maurice McCabe at the O’Higgins commission has been at the centre of political controversy in recent days,

Frances Fitzgerald:

The Tánaiste resigned her position on Tuesday amid controversy surrounding her knowledge of the legal strategy being pursed by Ms O’Sullivan against Sgt McCabe at the O’Higgins commission.

Noel Waters:

The secretary general of the Department of Justice announced his resignation on Tuesday after 40 years of public service and just three months shy of his retirement.

The news came shortly after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar strongly criticised in the Dáil the department’s handling of information surrounding the O’Higgins commission. The Taoiseach announced an inquiry in the department, while Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan apologised to the Dáil on behalf of the department.