Thursday 21 November 2019

Taoiseach accuses Micheal Martin of 'undermining integrity' of Fennelly Commission

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny
Micheal Martin

Niall O'Connor and Daniel McConnell

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has accused Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin of deliberately trying to undermine the integrity and independence of the Fennelly Commission.

In hard-hitting remarks, Mr Kenny accused Mr Martin of going "beyond his remit to every extent" after he questioned the decision to delay a report into the events leading up to the resignation of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

Mr Martin said he believes the report should be published immediately and that Mr Kenny has never come clean over his role in the events last March.

Responding to the claims today, Mr Kenny launched a blistering attack on the leader of the Opposition.

Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin
Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin

Read more here: Taoiseach intervenes as Martin questions Fennelly decision 

"The Fennelly Commission was set up to investigate the recordings of phone calls in garda stations over very many years across the country," he said.

"I think that the comments made by deputy Micheal Martin were utterly disgraceful and are beyond his remit to every extent. He has deliberately attempted here to undermine the integrity and the independence of the Fennelly Commission," he added.

The intervention by Mr Kenny came after it emerged the work of the Fennelly Commission has been hit by delays due to the ongoing high court case involving former journalist Ian Bailey.

Read more here: Mr Justice Nial Fennelly has a hugely complex and extensive task in overseeing his Commission of Inquiry 

Mr Bailey and his partner Jules Thomas are suing the State for wrongful arrest over the 1996 murder of French film maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

In a letter to the Taoiseach on February 17, Mr Justice Fennelly says the high court action is linked to his investigation into the events surrounding Mr Callinan’s resignation.

Mr Martin yesterday claimed that the decision to include the report into Mr Callinan’s departure in the overall remit of the Fennelly Commission was wrong. Mr Justice Fennelly is also investigating the automated recordings of telephone calls at garda stations.

The decision to combine the two areas was supported previously by the Oireachtas Justice Committee.

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