Sunday 25 September 2016

Tánaiste 'shocked' at secret Callinan-McGuinness meeting

Published 02/06/2016 | 02:30

John McGuinness revealed he had a secret meeting with former Garda Commissioner Callinan Photo: Tom Burke
John McGuinness revealed he had a secret meeting with former Garda Commissioner Callinan Photo: Tom Burke
Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan Photo: Tom Burke

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said she was "shocked" to hear of the secret meeting between former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness.

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The Justice Minister also said she would have preferred if the information had been revealed to the O'Higgins Commission investigating Sergeant Maurice McCabe's allegations of Garda malpractice.

During the 2014 meeting in a car park, revealed by Mr McGuinness last week, Mr Callinan allegedly tried to discredit Sgt McCabe to the former Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman ahead of an appearance by Sgt McCabe. Mr McGuinness didn't reveal the meeting to the PAC or to the later O'Higgins Commission.

Ms Fitzgerald was asked about the meeting on RTÉ radio and said: "I was shocked because obviously we've had a Commission of Investigation, we've had a PAC hearing and this happened before that."

She added: "I would have preferred if that information had been made available to either the PAC committee or the Commission."

Mr McGuinness has defended not telling the PAC about the meeting, saying he didn't want to jeopardise Sgt McCabe's subsequent appearance. He also said he would have been accused of "tampering" with the inquiry if he had revealed it at the time.

Irish Independent

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