Thursday 23 March 2017

Taoiseach dismisses claims of Cabinet split over refugee crisis

Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Mr Kenny said the tragic death of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, whose body was washed up on a beach in Turkey, shocked politicians into action.
Mr Kenny said the tragic death of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, whose body was washed up on a beach in Turkey, shocked politicians into action.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has refused to comment on a damning opinion poll which found more than half the country do not believe his version of the events that led to the shock resignation of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

A survey carried out by research firm Amarách on behalf of the Claire Byrne show on RTE One found a massive 55pc of people do not believe the testimony Mr Kenny gave to the Fennelly Commission.

The poll of more than 1,000 people found little more than one in ten do believe the Taoiseach’s evidence.

Asked twice today by Independent.ie if he was concerned that he public did not believe him, Mr Kenny refused to answer.

Mr Kenny also insisted he still had confidence in Department of Taoiseach secretary general Martin Fraser despite the senior civil servant directly contradicting the Fine Gael leader’s evidence when he was questioned by the Fennelly Commission.

“Of course I have confidence in the secretary general,” he said.

He added: “I accept the conclusion and the findings of an eminent Supreme Court judge who spent sixteen months providing his report. He was given a chance to bring in a specific terms of reference and he has complied with that and I accept the conclusions of it.”

Mr Fraser told the inquiry confidence in Mr Callinan was discussed at the meeting in the Taoiseach’s office before the former Department of Justice secretary general Brian Purcell was then sent to then Commissioner’s home. Mr Kenny has claimed this was not the case.

Mr Fraser also contradicted the Taoiseach’s claim that Mr Purcell was asked to get Mr Callinan’s 'views' on the recording of certain telephone conversations in Garda stations.

Despite the huge difference in their evidence Mr Kenny said Mr Fraser should not step aside.

Online Editors

Promoted articles

Also in this section