Sunday 30 April 2017

Judge to probe former PAC chairman's claim of 'meeting with Callinan in car park'

John McGuinness. Photo: Tom Burke
John McGuinness. Photo: Tom Burke
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

A secret meeting that allegedly took place between former garda commissioner Martin Callinan and Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness will be probed by the judge-led commission.

Mr McGuinness said he met Mr Callinan at the garda chief's request on January 24, 2014, in a hotel car park just off the Naas Road. The alleged meeting took place just days before Sergeant Maurice McCabe was due to appear before the Public Accounts Committee.

The then-PAC chairman claimed in the Dáil that Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe "could not be trusted".

Mr McGuinness was later criticised for remaining tight-lipped on the alleged meeting for a lengthy period.

Serving Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan has since claimed through her spokesman that she was not aware of the meeting between the two men.

Judge Peter Charleton will examine whether such a meeting took place and the circumstances around it.

He will also try to establish what was discussed at the meeting.

Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, Mr McGuinness - now the chairman of the finance committee - said: "I welcome the investigation. I look forward to Judge Charleton getting to the truth of this matter."

Former Commissioner Martin Callinan Photo: Tom Burke
Former Commissioner Martin Callinan Photo: Tom Burke

Irish Independent

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