Permission to be boring, sir? Why making headlines was a mistake
The 30-year-old tapes may have nothing to do with the Garda Commissioner's resignation. Coincidence isn't the same as cause. But the one certainty is this. What, at first light yesterday morning, looked like a brutally simple quit notice, will forever be entwined in the public mind with the discovery that the country is dotted with what amounts to an unprecedented archive of sensitive material.
It was the final irony in a career destruction that didn't have to happen.
Just as a guest appearance on Joe Duffy's radio show is an invitation to do open grave broadcasting, so a request to appear before the Public Accounts Committee has a ring of the Grim Reaper about it. But the fact is that the PAC wouldn't have been able to lay a glove on the former Garda Commissioner if he had played precisely within the rules. The PAC job may be high profile, but it's narrow. They can look only at how state money gets spent. Mr Callinan didn't need to fall on the whistleblower sword.