Monday 5 December 2016

'Tapegate' inquiry an absolutely necessary distraction

Published 26/03/2014 | 02:30

The European Court of Justice has declared invalid the European Data Retention Directive
The European Court of Justice has declared invalid the European Data Retention Directive

THE cynic in me thinks that the decision to set up an Intercept Inquiry – The Tape Tribunal, anyone? – is a "look at the birdies" technique to distract attention away from the garda whistleblower controversy which contributed towards the resignation of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

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It may well be a shrewd political tactic by Taoiseach Enda Kenny to deflect attention away from under-fire Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

But as birdies go, the longstanding and suspected (but not formally admitted) practice of recording and retention of phone calls in garda stations deserves close and urgent scrutiny.

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