| 11.8°C Dublin

Probe into tapes controversy now delayed until next year

Close

Retired supreme court judge Niall Fennelly (inset) has asked for more time to complete his duties; however, a preliminary report into the circumstances behind the resignation of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan will be provided to the Taoiseach in the early part of 2015

Retired supreme court judge Niall Fennelly (inset) has asked for more time to complete his duties; however, a preliminary report into the circumstances behind the resignation of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan will be provided to the Taoiseach in the early part of 2015

Retired supreme court judge Niall Fennelly (inset) has asked for more time to complete his duties; however, a preliminary report into the circumstances behind the resignation of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan will be provided to the Taoiseach in the early part of 2015

THE commission set up to investigate the systematic taping of phone calls in and out of garda stations has been delayed.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dail yesterday that the Fennelly Commission would now not conclude by the end of the year, as previously planned.

Retired Supreme Court Judge Nial Fennelly had sought an extension to carry out his duties, Mr Kenny said.

However, a preliminary report into the circumstances behind the resignation of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan will be provided to the Taoiseach in the early part of 2015. Mr Callinan stepped down in March - just hours after being visited at his home by the then secretary general of the Department of Justice Brian Purcell.

Mr Purcell visited Mr Callinan to express the Taoiseach's concern at the revelations of the garda tapes.

Members of the Opposition have claimed that by sending Mr Purcell to Mr Callinan's house, the former commissioner was effectively "sacked".

This has been fervently denied by the Taoiseach.

A spokesman for Mr Kenny last night said an offer was made by the Fennelly Commission to produce a preliminary report on this issue and that this offer was accepted.

Brian Purcell is said to have visited Mr Callinan in his home in Dublin on March 24 to relay Mr Kenny's concerns about the garda tapes. Mr Callinan resigned just hours after the meeting.

The Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate the garda tapes controversy will also examine the events leading up to Mr Callinan's resignation.

Mr Fennelly, who is heading up the commission, is understood to have been in contact with the Taoiseach, the former commissioner and other officials over the events.

Mr Kenny is also believed to have provided a full written statement to the commission.

Irish Independent