Wednesday 7 December 2016

'Car park meeting' revelations risk bringing whole Oireachtas committee system into disrepute

Jerry Buttimer

Published 04/06/2016 | 02:30

Then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and then Deputy Commissioner Noírín O’Sullivan arriving at Leinster House for a Public Accounts Committee meeting in 2012 Photo: Tom Burke
Then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and then Deputy Commissioner Noírín O’Sullivan arriving at Leinster House for a Public Accounts Committee meeting in 2012 Photo: Tom Burke
John McGuinness TD, formerly chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Picture: Tom Burke

A Garda Commissioner meets the Chairman of an Oireachtas committee investigating An Garda Síochána in a car park off the Naas Road' is the stuff of bad fiction. It couldn't happen.

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Except that, according to TD John McGuinness, it did happen. It happened two years ago. Mr McGuinness was, at the time, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), and he has confirmed that the former Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, contacted him by phone seeking a meeting.

The first question any chairman of any Oireachtas Committee should have asked, in that situation, is, "What could you want to say to me that would require a covert meeting?"

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